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Trading Tasks and Quality

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  • F. Banu Demir

Abstract

I present a trade model featuring North-South differences in demand for quality and in quality of task supply.� The model explains a number of stylised facts: Southern firms charge higher factory-gate prices for their products in rich than in poor, and in distant than in near markets.� The model predicts that firms vary the quality of their products across� markets by changing, between varieties, the fractions of low and high-quality tasks.� This mechanism for quality differentiation introduces a new margin to trade: the extensive margin of intermediate imports.� Extension of the model to general equilibrium with heterogeneous firms shows that even under low fixed and zero variable trade costs, only the more productive Southern firms export to the rich Northern market.� Compared to their domestic market, they charge higher prices in the North, with the most productive ones earning higher revenues.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 582.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:582

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Keywords: Quality; Task trade; Heterogeneous firms;

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  1. Eckel, Carsten & Neary, J Peter, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5941, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Eckel, Carsten & Iacovone, Leonardo & Javorcik, Beata & Neary, J Peter, 2011. "Multi-Product Firms at Home and Away: Cost- versus Quality-based Competence," CEPR Discussion Papers 8186, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Amit Kumar Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2010. "Imported Intermediate Inputs and Domestic Product Growth: Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1727-1767, November.
  4. Hallak, Juan Carlos, 2006. "Product quality and the direction of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 238-265, January.
  5. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-21, September.
  6. Holger Gorg & Laszlo Halpern & Balazs Murakozy, 2010. "Why Do Within Firm-Product Export Prices Differ across Markets?," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1003, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  7. David Hummels & Alexandre Skiba, 2004. "Shipping the Good Apples Out? An Empirical Confirmation of the Alchian-Allen Conjecture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1384-1402, December.
  8. Crozet, Matthieu & Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2009. "Quality sorting and trade: Firm-level evidence for French wine," CEPR Discussion Papers 7295, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Pinelopi Goldberg & Amit Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2009. "Trade Liberalization and New Imported Inputs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 494-500, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Maria Bas & Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, 2013. "Input-Trade Liberalization, Export Prices and Quality Upgrading," Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers 2013-13, Sciences Po Departement of Economics.

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