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Product and process productivity: Implications for quality choice and conditional exporter premia

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  • Hallak, Juan Carlos
  • Sivadasan, Jagadeesh

Abstract

We develop a model of international trade with two dimensions of firm heterogeneity. The first dimension is “process productivity”, which is how we denote the standard concept of productivity as modeled in the literature. The second one is “product productivity”, defined as firms' ability to develop high-quality products spending small fixed outlays. The distinction between these two sources of productivity, together with the assumption that iceberg trade costs decrease with quality, delivers various conditional exporter premia as theoretical predictions. Conditional on size, exporters sell higher quality products, charge higher prices, pay higher input prices and higher wages, and use capital more intensively. Some of these predictions had already been documented in the empirical literature but lacked a theoretical framework for properly interpreting them. We conduct systematic tests of these predictions using manufacturing establishment data for India, the U.S., Chile, and Colombia, and find strong support for the model.

Suggested Citation

  • Hallak, Juan Carlos & Sivadasan, Jagadeesh, 2013. "Product and process productivity: Implications for quality choice and conditional exporter premia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 53-67.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:91:y:2013:i:1:p:53-67 DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2013.05.001
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Product productivity; Process productivity; Quality; Fixed costs; Exports; Conditional exporter premia;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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