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Firms' Exporting Behavior under Quality Constraints

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  • Juan Carlos Hallak
  • Jagadeesh Sivadasan

Abstract

We develop a model of international trade with export quality requirements and two dimensions of firm heterogeneity. In addition to "productivity", firms are also heterogeneous in their "caliber" {the ability to produce quality using fewer fixed inputs. Compared to singleattribute models of firm heterogeneity emphasizing either productivity or the ability to produce quality, our model provides a more nuanced characterization of firms' exporting behavior. In particular, it explains the empirical fact that firm size is not monotonically related with export status: there are small firms that export and large firms that only operate in the domestic market. The model also delivers novel testable predictions. Conditional on size, exporters are predicted to sell products of higher quality and at higher prices, pay higher wages and use capital more intensively. These predictions, although apparently intuitive, cannot be derived from singleattribute models of firm heterogeneity as they imply no variation in export status after size is controlled for. We find strong support for the predictions of our model in manufacturing establishment datasets for India, the U.S., Chile, and Colombia.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Carlos Hallak & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2009. "Firms' Exporting Behavior under Quality Constraints," Working Papers 09-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:09-13
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Productivity; quality; exports; firm heterogeneity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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