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On the Measurement of Product Variety in Trade

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  • Robert Feenstra
  • Hiau Looi Kee

Abstract

Product variety plays an important role in the theoretical work on monopolistic competition and trade, and recent empirical work has begun to quantify this for aggregate and disaggregate import demands. The authors discuss the measurement of product variety in trade, using a broad cross-section of industrial and developing countries and disaggregating across sectors. The authors calculate the export variety of countries in their sales to the United States, and relate the export variety indexes to country productivities. They confirm that countries with greater product variety in exports also have higher productivity. This may be due to their development of and access to these products.
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Suggested Citation

  • Robert Feenstra & Hiau Looi Kee, 2004. "On the Measurement of Product Variety in Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 145-149, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:94:y:2004:i:2:p:145-149
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828041301524
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. By Michael Funke & Ralf Ruhwedel, 2001. "Product Variety and Economic Growth: Empirical Evidence for the OECD Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 48(2), pages 1-1.
    2. Robert C. Feenstra & Hiau Looi Kee, 2004. "Export Variety and Country Productivity," NBER Working Papers 10830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
    4. Feenstra, Robert C. & Madani, Dorsati & Yang, Tzu-Han & Liang, Chi-Yuan, 1999. "Testing endogenous growth in South Korea and Taiwan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 317-341, December.
    5. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-177, March.
    6. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Trade," NBER Working Papers 8712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Sato, Kazuo, 1976. "The Ideal Log-Change Index Number," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(2), pages 223-228, May.
    8. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
    9. Michael Funke & Ralf Ruhwedel, 2002. "Export variety and export performance: Empirical evidence for the OECD countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 138(1), pages 97-114, March.
    10. Hiau Looi Kee, 2001. "Productivity versus endowments - a study of Singapore's sectoral growth, 1974-92," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2702, The World Bank.
    11. Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-Product Versus Within-Product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 647-678.
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