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Non-Price Competitiveness Gains of Central, Eastern and Southeastern European Countries in the EU Market

We propose an export price indicator adjusted for non-price factors as a more meaningful measure of a country’s competitiveness than traditional indicators. Our starting point is the approach developed by Broda and Weinstein (2006), who adjust price developments for changes in varieties of imported products. We relax their assumption of unchanged quality over time and use the proposed index to analyze the momentum of export prices of the ten CESEE EU members which acceded in 2004 and 2007. The index is calculated using data from Eurostat Comext at the highly disaggregated eight-digit CN product level. Our analysis spans the time period 1999 to 2011, thus including the recent global recession period in 2009. The results show that all CESEE-10 countries experienced a loss in price competitiveness, but that the loss was much smaller than is usually suggested by traditional CPI- or ULC-based real effective exchange rate measures. Although relative export prices (unit values) increased more strongly in the CESEE-10 countries as compared to their competitors, the average quality of their goods increased even more strongly, thus fully compensating for the rise in prices. These improvements in non-price competitiveness were pronounced in all CESEE-10 countries.

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File URL: http://www.oenb.at/dms/oenb/Publikationen/Volkswirtschaft/Focus-on-European-Economic-Integration/2012/Focus-on-European-Economic-Integration-Q3-12/chapters/feei_2012_q3_studies2_tcm16-249596.pdf
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Article provided by Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank) in its journal Focus on European Economic Integration.

Volume (Year): (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 27-47

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Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbfi:y:2012:i:3:b:2
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  1. Gloria Sheu, 2014. "Price, Quality, and Variety: Measuring the Gains from Trade in Differentiated Products," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 66-89, October.
  2. Konstantins Benkovskis & Julia Wörz, 2011. "How Does Quality Impact on Import Prices?," Working Papers 175, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
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  6. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Vertical Product Differentiation and North-South Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 810-22, December.
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  8. Edward E. Leamer, 1979. "Is it a Demand Curve, or is it a Supply Curve?: Partial Identification Through Inequality Constraints," UCLA Economics Working Papers 153, UCLA Department of Economics.
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  10. Michael A. Landesmann & Robert Stehrer, 2002. "Evolving Competitiveness of CEEC’s in an Enlarged Europe," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 92(1), pages 23-88, January-F.
  11. Ashoka Mody & Deniz Igan & Stefania Fabrizio, 2007. "The Dynamics of Product Quality and International Competitiveness," IMF Working Papers 07/97, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Uwe Dulleck & Neil Foster & Robert Stehrer & Julia Woerz, 2005. "Dimensions of quality upgrading," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 13(1), pages 51-76, 01.
  13. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2005. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 704-723, June.
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  15. Juan Carlos Hallak & Peter K. Schott, 2008. "Estimating Cross-Country Differences in Product Quality," NBER Working Papers 13807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Soderbery, Anson, 2010. "Measuring the benefits of foreign product variety with an accurate variety set," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 168-180, November.
  17. Konstantins Benkovskis & Ramune Rimgailaite, 2011. "The quality and variety of exports from the new EU member states," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 19(4), pages 723-747, October.
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