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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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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
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  1. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Hallak, Juan Carlos, 2006. "Product quality and the direction of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 238-265, January.
  3. Verhoogen, Eric A, 2007. "Trade, Quality Upgrading and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," CEPR Discussion Papers 6385, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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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  6. Martina Lawless & Karl Whelan, 2007. "A note on trade costs and distance," Working Papers 200716, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  7. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2004. "Trade in Capital Goods," Levine's Working Paper Archive 228400000000000019, David K. Levine.
  9. Richard Baldwin & James Harrigan, 2007. "Zeros, Quality and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:2:p:646-677 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Francis Kramarz & Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2005. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," 2005 Meeting Papers 197, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Kugler, Maurice & Verhoogen, Eric A, 2009. "The Quality-Complementarity Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence from Colombia," CEPR Discussion Papers 7119, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  16. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting Trade: Firms, Industries, and Export Destinations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 150-154, May.
  17. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  18. 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.
  19. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2008. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 394-425, March.
  20. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:123:y:2008:i:2:p:441-487 is not listed on IDEAS
  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. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2007. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," NBER Working Papers 12927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Hallak, Juan Carlos & Sivadasan, Jagadeesh, 2008. "Productivity, quality and exporting behavior under minimum quality constraints," MPRA Paper 24146, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  24. 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.).
  25. Johnson, Robert C., 2012. "Trade and prices with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 43-56.
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