IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/qjecon/v126y2011i1p417-474.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Estimating Cross-Country Differences in Product Quality

Author

Listed:
  • Juan Carlos Hallak
  • Peter K. Schott

Abstract

We develop a method for decomposing countries' observed export prices into quality versus quality-adjusted components using information contained in trade balances. Holding observed export prices constant, countries with trade surpluses are inferred to offer higher quality than countries running trade deficits. We account for variation in trade balances induced by horizontal and vertical differentiation, and we estimate the evolution of manufacturing quality for top exporters from 1989 to 2003. We find that observed unit value ratios can be a poor approximation for relative quality differences, countries' quality is converging more rapidly than their income, and countries appear to vary in terms of displaying "high-quality" versus "low-price" growth strategies. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Carlos Hallak & Peter K. Schott, 2011. "Estimating Cross-Country Differences in Product Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 417-474.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:126:y:2011:i:1:p:417-474
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/qje/qjq003
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Feenstra, Robert C, 1995. "Exact Hedonic Price Indexes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(4), pages 634-653, November.
    2. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1991. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 43-61.
    3. Brooks, Eileen L., 2006. "Why don't firms export more? Product quality and Colombian plants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 160-178, June.
    4. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Martin, Philippe & Pesenti, Paolo, 2005. "Productivity Spillovers, Terms of Trade and the 'Home Market Effect'," CEPR Discussion Papers 4964, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Amit Khandelwal, 2010. "The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1450-1476.
    6. Robert C. Feenstra & Alan Heston & Marcel P. Timmer & Haiyan Deng, 2009. "Estimating Real Production and Expenditures across Nations: A Proposal for Improving the Penn World Tables," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 201-212, February.
    7. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2007. "Distributional Effects of Globalization in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(1), pages 39-82, March.
    8. 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.
    9. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    10. Ashoka Mody & Deniz O Igan & Stefania Fabrizio, 2007. "The Dynamics of Product Quality and International Competitiveness," IMF Working Papers 07/97, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Mark Bils, 2004. "Measuring the Growth from Better and Better Goods," NBER Working Papers 10606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Peter K. Schott, 2008. "The relative sophistication of Chinese exports," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 5-49, January.
    13. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Vertical Product Differentiation and North-South Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 810-822, December.
    14. 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.
    15. Neary, J. P. & Roberts, K. W. S., 1980. "The theory of household behaviour under rationing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 25-42, January.
    16. Diewert, Erwin, 2007. "Index Numbers," Economics working papers diewert-07-01-03-08-17-23, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 31 Jan 2007.
    17. Robert C. Feenstra, 1988. "Quality Change Under Trade Restraints in Japanese Autos," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 131-146.
    18. Aiginger, Karl, 1997. "The Use of Unit Values to Discriminate between Price and Quality Competition," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(5), pages 571-592, September.
    19. Juan Carlos Hallak & Peter K. Schott, 2011. "Estimating Cross-Country Differences in Product Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 417-474.
    20. John Romalis, 2004. "Factor Proportions and the Structure of Commodity Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 67-97, March.
    21. 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.
    22. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:126:y:2011:i:1:p:417-474. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.