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Trade Liberalization, Quality, and Export Prices

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  • Fan, Haichao
  • Li, Yao Amber
  • Yeaple, Stephen

Abstract

This paper presents theory and evidence from highly disaggregated Chinese data that tariff reductions induce a country's producers to upgrade the quality of the goods that they export. The paper first documents two stylized facts regarding the effect of trade liberalization on export prices and its relation with product differentiation. Next, the paper extends Melitz's (2003) model of trade with heterogeneous firms by introducing endogenous quality choice. The model predicts that a reduction in the import tariff induces an incumbent importer/exporter to increase the quality of its exports and to raise its export price in industries where the scope for quality differentiation is large while to lower its export price in industries where the scope for quality differentiation is small. The predictions are consistent with the stylized facts based on Chinese data and robust to various estimation specifications.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/57376/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 51370.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:51370

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Keywords: trade liberalization; tariff; quality; export price; quality upgrading;

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  1. Hongbin Cai & Qiao Liu, 2009. "Competition and Corporate Tax Avoidance: Evidence from Chinese Industrial Firms," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 764-795, 04.
  2. Kleibergen, Frank & Paap, Richard, 2006. "Generalized reduced rank tests using the singular value decomposition," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 97-126, July.
  3. Verhoogen, Eric, 2007. "Trade, Quality Upgrading and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," IZA Discussion Papers 2913, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Fan, Haichao & Lai, Edwin L.-C. & Li, Yao Amber, 2012. "Credit Constraints, Quality, and Export Prices: Theory and Evidence from China," MPRA Paper 40857, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Heiwai Tang & Yifan Zhang, 2012. "Quality Differentiation and Trade Intermediation," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0771, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  6. Daniel Trefler, 2001. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement," NBER Working Papers 8293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ahn, JaeBin & Khandelwal, Amit K. & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2011. "The role of intermediaries in facilitating trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 73-85, May.
  8. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  9. Gita Gopinath & Brent Neiman, 2011. "Trade adjustment and productivity in large crises," Working Papers 11-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  10. Juan Carlos Hallak, 2010. "A Product-Quality View of the Linder Hypothesis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(3), pages 453-466, August.
  11. Hiroyuki Kasahara & Joel Rodrigue, 2005. "Does the Use of Imported Intermediates Increase Productivity? Plant-Level Evidence," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20057, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
  12. Brandt, Loren & Van Biesebroeck, Johannes & Zhang, Yifan, 2012. "Creative accounting or creative destruction? Firm-level productivity growth in Chinese manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 339-351.
  13. Antoine Gervais, 2013. "Product Quality and Firm Heterogeneity in International Trade," Working Papers 13-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  14. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Tybout, James & de Melo, Jaime & Corbo, Vittorio, 1990. "The effects of trade reforms on scale and technical efficiency : new evidence from Chile," Policy Research Working Paper Series 481, The World Bank.
  16. Kalina Manova & Zhiwei Zhang, 2012. "Export Prices Across Firms and Destinations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 379-436.
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