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Quality competition, Pricing-To-Market and Non-Tariff measures: A Unified Framework For the Analysis of Bilateral Unit Values

  • Michael Ferrantino
  • Robert M. Feinberg
  • Lauren Deason

This paper presents a unified framework for analyzing several factors that have been independently studied as determinants of unit values in international trade: product differentiation by quality (which suggests that unit values should be positively correlated with exporters' per capita income), pricing-to-market (which suggests they should be positively correlated with importers' per capita income), and non-tariff measures (which suggests that remaining residuals may contain evidence of trade barriers). On a large sample of bilateral unit values for 2005, we find that about 58 percent of all HS-6 products demonstrate both significant quality-ladder effects and pricing-to-market effects, with quality-ladder effects predominating in importance. Distance-related effects appearing directly in prices appear significantly larger than one would expect as a result of shipping margins. We also rank importers by the remaining unexplained variation in import prices, and examine whether these variations are plausibly related to non-tariff measures.

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Paper provided by American University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2009-03.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:amu:wpaper:2009-03
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  4. 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.
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  7. Catherine Y. Co, 2007. "Factors That Account for the Large Variations in U.S. Export Prices," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 143(3), pages 557-582, October.
  8. Sven W. Arndt & J. David Richardson, 1987. "Real-Financial Linkages Among Open Economies," NBER Working Papers 2230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Peter K. Schott, 2006. "The Relative Sophistication of Chinese Exports," NBER Working Papers 12173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. David Hummels, 2007. "Transportation Costs and International Trade in the Second Era of Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 131-154, Summer.
  11. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  12. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
  13. David Hummels & Volodymyr Lugovskyy, 2006. "Are Matched Partner Trade Statistics a Usable Measure of Transportation Costs?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 69-86, 02.
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