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Quality Sorting And Trade: Firm-Level Evidence For French Wine

  • Crozet, Matthieu
  • Head, Keith
  • Mayer, Thierry

Quality sorting and trade: Firm-level evidence for French wine Investigations of the effect of quality differences on heterogeneous performance in exporting have been limited by lack of direct measures of quality. We examine exports of French wine, matching the exporting firms to producer ratings from two wine guides. We show that high quality producers export to more markets, charge higher prices, and sell more in each market. More attractive markets are served by exporters that, on average, make lower rated Champagne. Market attractiveness has a weakly negative effect on prices and a strongly positive effect on quantities, confirming the sign predictions of a simple quality sorting model. Methodologically, we make several contributions to the literature. First, we propose an estimation method for regressions of firm-level exports on ability measures and use Monte Carlo simulations to show that it corrects a severe selection bias present in OLS estimates. Second, we show how the means of quality, price, and quantity for exporters to a given market can be used to recover estimates of core parameters (which we compare with firm-level estimates) and discriminate between productivity and quality-sorting versions of the Melitz model. Our new method regresses country means on an index of each country's attractiveness and the fixed costs of entering it. We compare our method, which utilizes explanatory variables estimated in the firm-level regressions, to the conventional approach that relies on a reduced-form relationship with proxies for attractiveness and fixed costs.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/53883
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Paper provided by American Association of Wine Economists in its series Working Papers with number 53883.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aawewp:53883
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.wine-economics.org

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  1. Francis Kramarz & Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2005. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," 2005 Meeting Papers 197, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Richard Baldwin & James Harrigan, 2007. "Zeros, Quality and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Richard E. Baldwin & Tadashi Ito, 2008. "Quality competition versus price competition goods: An empirical classification," NBER Working Papers 14305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
  5. Maurice Kugler & Eric Verhoogen, 2012. "Prices, Plant Size, and Product Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 307-339.
  6. Lawless, Martina & Whelan, Karl, 2007. "A Note on Trade Costs and Distance," Research Technical Papers 7/RT/07, Central Bank of Ireland.
  7. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Trade in Capital Goods," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-109, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  8. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530, 05.
  9. Hallak, Juan Carlos & Sivadasan, Jagadeesh, 2008. "Productivity, quality and exporting behavior under minimum quality constraints," MPRA Paper 24146, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Development Working Papers 201, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  11. Foster, Lucia & Haltiwanger, John C. & Syverson, Chad, 2005. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," IZA Discussion Papers 1705, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-21, September.
  13. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Benjamin R. Mandel, 2010. "Heterogeneous firms and import quality: evidence from transaction-level prices," International Finance Discussion Papers 991, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  16. Johnson, Robert C., 2012. "Trade and prices with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 43-56.
  17. Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-product Versus Within-product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 646-677, May.
  18. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting Trade: Firms, Industries, and Export Destinations," NBER Working Papers 10344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
  20. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  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. Thierry Mayer & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 2008. "The Happy Few: The Internationalisation of European Firms," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 135-148, May.
  23. David Hummels & Alexandre Skiba, 2002. "Shipping the Good Apples Out? An Empirical Confirmation of the Alchian-Allen Conjecture," NBER Working Papers 9023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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