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Measuring Variety and Quality of Products with Trademarks


  • Andrea Mangani


The variety and quality of products has a great importance in the analysis of international trade flows. Several theoretical models show that larger and richer economies produce and export goods characterized by higher variety and quality. Accordingly, empirical studies have tried to quantify this relationship by investigating directly the composition of trade. In this paper we propose the use of trademarks to estimate the variety and quality of goods and services. We consider the Community trademark applications filed by 120 countries and distinguish the variety of the underlying products across classes (extensive margin) from the variety within classes (intensive margin). Then we estimate the quality of a country's goods and services observing how much its trademarks are extended on multiple classes (quality margin). The empirical analysis consists of simple cross-sections of the 'applicant' countries. The extensive margin is found to account for about 40% of the higher number of entries of larger and richer economies, while differences in quality seem to explain about 10% of national differences in trademark applications. These findings partially confirm those of previous empirical studies, although the nature of the data and the methods of classification lead to some quantitative discrepancies and to a different interpretation of the results.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Mangani, 2007. "Measuring Variety and Quality of Products with Trademarks," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(4), pages 613-631.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intecj:v:21:y:2007:i:4:p:613-631
    DOI: 10.1080/10168730701699109

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    Cited by:

    1. Ricardo P. Mamede & Teresa F. Fernandes & Manuel M. Godinho, 2014. "Patterns and determinants of trademark use in Portugal," Chapters,in: Knowledge-Intensive Entrepreneurship in Low-Tech Industries, chapter 5, pages 95-116 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Marta Arespa, 2011. "Macroeconomics of extensive margins: a simple model," Working Papers XREAP2011-19, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Nov 2011.
    3. Travis J. Lybbert & Nikolas J. Zolas & Prantik Bhattacharyya, 2014. "An "Algorithmic Links with Probabilities" Concordance for Trademarks For Disaggregated Analysis of Trademark and Economic Data," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers 14, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division.
    4. repec:bla:worlde:v:40:y:2017:i:6:p:1184-1213 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Philipp Schautschick & Christine Greenhalgh, 2016. "Empirical studies of trade marks -- The existing economic literature," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(4), pages 358-390, June.
    6. Nikolas Zolas & Travis J. Lybbert & Prantik Bhattacharyya, 2013. "An ‘Algorithmic Links With Probabilities’ Concordance For Trademarks: For Disaggregated Analysis Of Trademark & Economic Data," Working Papers 13-49, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    7. Ralf Ruhwedel & Michael Funke, 2008. "Trade, product variety and welfare: a quantitative assessment for mainland China," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20806, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.


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