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Does quality differentiation matter in exporters' pricing behaviour? Comparing China and India

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  • Mallick, Sushanta
  • Marques, Helena

Abstract

The product quality dimension has been rarely mentioned as a factor explaining the heterogeneous pricing strategies of exporters. This could underestimate the degree of mark-up adjustment and the extent of incomplete exchange rate pass-through (ERPT) at a disaggregated level across products and destination markets. This paper investigates the role of quality differentiation in price discrimination using data for China and India's exports disaggregated at the 6-digit product level across destination markets. The paper adopts an empirical approach that incorporates gravity model explanatory factors and allows disentangling the effect of quality on trade prices and volumes from that of other sources of price variation. After excluding short duration export spells, China's export prices denominated in foreign currency terms increase with the yuan's depreciation, implying an increase in exporters' mark-ups, but they decrease as expected in the case of India. However, mark-up increases decline with product quality and destination market income, as the elasticity of demand perceived by exporters increases. These findings remain robust to different measures of quality, samples, specifications, and to the potential endogeneity of quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Mallick, Sushanta & Marques, Helena, 2016. "Does quality differentiation matter in exporters' pricing behaviour? Comparing China and India," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 71-90.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:40:y:2016:i:c:p:71-90
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2016.06.001
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Exchange-rate pass-through; Pricing-to-market; Quality; India; China;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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