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Quality and the Great Trade Collapse

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  • Chen, Natalie
  • Juvenal, Luciana

Abstract

We investigate theoretically and empirically the heterogeneous effects of the global financial crisis on international trade flows differentiated by quality. Our model, which identifies the effect of quality on trade that arises on the demand side, through the relationship between income and quality choice, predicts that a negative income shock disproportionately reduces the demand for higher relative to lower quality traded goods (a “flight from quality”). Using a unique dataset of firm-level wine exports for an emerging market economy, Argentina, combined with experts wine ratings as a measure of quality, we find strong evidence of a flight from quality as we show that the values, volumes, unit values, and markups of higher quality exports contracted more sharply during the crisis. Our results imply that the exports of countries producing higher quality goods are likely to collapse more severely during recessions.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Natalie & Juvenal, Luciana, 2018. "Quality and the Great Trade Collapse," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 59-76.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:135:y:2018:i:c:p:59-76
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2018.06.012
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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Natalie & Juvenal, Luciana, 2022. "Markups, quality, and trade costs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    2. Flach, Lisandra & Unger, Florian, 2022. "Quality and gravity in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    3. Rodnyansky, Alexander & Van der Ghote, Alejandro & Wales, Daniel, 2022. "Product quality, measured inflation and monetary policy," Working Paper Series 2680, European Central Bank.
    4. Paulo Bastos & Joana Silva & Eric Verhoogen, 2018. "Export Destinations and Input Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(2), pages 353-392, February.
    5. Ferguson, Shon & Gars, Johan, 2016. "Productivity Shocks, International Trade and Import Prices: Evidence from Agriculture," Working Paper Series 1107, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    6. Goetz, D. & Rodnyansky, A., 2019. "Exchange Rate Shocks and Quality Adjustments," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1915, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    7. Rudolfs Bems & Julian di Giovanni, 2016. "Income-Induced Expenditure Switching," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(12), pages 3898-3931, December.
    8. Jaimovich, Nir & Rebelo, Sergio & Wong, Arlene, 2019. "Trading down and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 96-121.
    9. David, Joel M. & Schmid, Lukas & Zeke, David, 2022. "Risk-adjusted capital allocation and misallocation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 684-705.
    10. Yan, Jiaqiang & Zhou, Yonghong, 2021. "Economic return to political support: Evidence from voting on the representation of China in the United Nations," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    11. Anubha Dhasmana, 2021. "Employment growth in the face of exchange rate uncertainty: The role of trade and foreign equity finance," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 88(1), pages 79-117, July.
    12. Di Ubaldo, Mattia, 2016. "Firms and trade in downturns," Economics PhD Theses 0416, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    13. A. M. M. Shahiduzzaman Quoreshi & Trudy-Ann Stone, 2019. "Do Global Value Chains Make Firms More Vulnerable to Trade Shocks?—Evidence from Manufacturing Firms in Sweden," JRFM, MDPI, vol. 12(3), pages 1-16, September.
    14. Copestake, Alexander & Zhang, Wenzhang, 2023. "Inputs, networks and quality-upgrading: Evidence from China in India," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    15. Mattia Di Ubaldo, 2015. "Product Cost-Share: a Catalyst of the Trade Collapse," Working Paper Series 8015, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Emerging markets; Exports; Financial crisis; Heterogeneity; Markups; Quality; Unit values; Wine;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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