IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cii/cepidt/2014-14.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Offshoring and the Shortening of the Quality Ladder: Evidence from Danish Apparel

Author

Listed:
  • Valérie Smeets
  • Sharon Traiberman
  • Frederic Warzynski

Abstract

Recently a small and growing empirical literature has attempted to analyze the role that quality plays in our understanding of trade. In particular, the recent work of Khandelwal (2010) has brought the insights of structural IO models of demand to bear into trade data. Our work builds on this new structural literature; we use similar demand estimation techniques on a panel of Danish apparel firms from 1997 to 2010 in order to analyze how firms responded to China's entry to the WTO and the dismantling of the Multi-Fibre Agreement. We explore the implications of offshoring and import competition on the distribution of apparel quality within Denmark, and demonstrate the firm-level mechanisms that induced the observed aggregate changes. In particular, we show that the quality ladder tightens in response to trade shocks as initially low quality firms upgrade their quality relative to other firms while initially middle and high quality downgrade their output quality. An important qualification is that the quality of exports from the source country is a key determinant in both the uptake of offshoring and resultant decisions regarding quality. Finally, import competition appears to spur entry of higher quality firms and exit of lower quality producers. Nevertheless, the reallocation pattern is imperfect, suggesting that two sources of heterogeneity – the productivity and the quality margin - are key to understanding these patterns.

Suggested Citation

  • Valérie Smeets & Sharon Traiberman & Frederic Warzynski, 2014. "Offshoring and the Shortening of the Quality Ladder: Evidence from Danish Apparel," Working Papers 2014-14, CEPII research center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2014-14
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepii.fr/PDF_PUB/wp/2014/wp2014-14.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nicholas Bloom & Mirko Draca & John Van Reenen, 2016. "Trade Induced Technical Change? The Impact of Chinese Imports on Innovation, IT and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(1), pages 87-117.
    2. Matthieu Crozet & Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2012. "Quality Sorting and Trade: Firm-level Evidence for French Wine," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 609-644.
    3. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530.
    4. Mary Amiti & Amit K. Khandelwal, 2013. "Import Competition and Quality Upgrading," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 476-490, May.
    5. Amit Khandelwal, 2010. "The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1450-1476.
    6. repec:clu:wpaper:0708-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Kalina Manova & Zhiwei Zhang, 2012. "Export Prices Across Firms and Destinations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 379-436.
    8. Laszlo Halpern & Miklos Koren & Adam Szeidl, 2005. "Import and Productivity," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0509, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    9. 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.
    10. Kei-Mu Yi, 2003. "Can Vertical Specialization Explain the Growth of World Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 52-102, February.
    11. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2013. "The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2121-2168, October.
    12. Caplin, Andrew & Nalebuff, Barry, 1991. "Aggregation and Imperfect Competition: On the Existence of Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 25-59, January.
    13. David Hummels & Alexandre Skiba, 2004. "Shipping the Good Apples Out? An Empirical Confirmation of the Alchian-Allen Conjecture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1384-1402, December.
    14. Gérard P. Cachon & Robert Swinney, 2011. "The Value of Fast Fashion: Quick Response, Enhanced Design, and Strategic Consumer Behavior," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(4), pages 778-795, April.
    15. Robert C. Feenstra, 2010. "Offshoring in the Global Economy: Microeconomic Structure and Macroeconomic Implications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262013835, March.
    16. Irene Brambilla & Amit K. Khandelwal & Peter K. Schott, 2010. "China's Experience under the Multi-Fiber Arrangement (MFA) and the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC)," NBER Chapters,in: China's Growing Role in World Trade, pages 345-387 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Kasahara, Hiroyuki & Lapham, Beverly, 2013. "Productivity and the decision to import and export: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 297-316.
    18. Maurice Kugler & Eric Verhoogen, 2009. "Plants and Imported Inputs: New Facts and an Interpretation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 501-507, May.
    19. Sutton, John, 2012. "Competing in Capabilities: The Globalization Process," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199274536.
    20. Matthieu Crozet & Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2009. "Quality sorting and trade: Firm-level evidence for French wine," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00973018, HAL.
    21. Paula Bustos, 2011. "Trade Liberalization, Exports, and Technology Upgrading: Evidence on the Impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinian Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 304-340, February.
    22. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Comparative Advantage and Heterogeneous Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 31-66.
    23. Amit K. Khandelwal & Peter K. Schott & Shang-Jin Wei, 2013. "Trade Liberalization and Embedded Institutional Reform: Evidence from Chinese Exporters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2169-2195, October.
    24. Maurice Kugler & Eric Verhoogen, 2012. "Prices, Plant Size, and Product Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 307-339.
    25. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-890, July.
    26. Carolyn L. Evans & James Harrigan, 2005. "Distance, Time, and Specialization: Lean Retailing in General Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 292-313, March.
    27. Gladys Lopez-Acevedo & Raymond Robertson, 2012. "Sewing Success? Employment, Wages, and Poverty following the End of the Multi-Fibre Arrangement," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13137, June.
    28. Mark J. Roberts & Daniel Yi Xu & Xiaoyan Fan & Shengxing Zhang, 2012. "The Role of Firm Factors in Demand, Cost, and Export Market Selection for Chinese Footwear Producers," NBER Working Papers 17725, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1978-1997, December.
    30. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
    31. Juan Carlos Hallak & Peter K. Schott, 2011. "Estimating Cross-Country Differences in Product Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 417-474.
    32. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    33. Gereffi, Gary, 1999. "International trade and industrial upgrading in the apparel commodity chain," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 37-70, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:deveco:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:171-188 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kazunobu Hayakawa & Toshiyuki Matsuura & Sadayuki Takii, 2017. "Does Trade Liberalization Boost Quality Upgrading? Evidence From Indonesian Plant-Product-Level Data," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 55(3), pages 171-188, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Quality; Offshoring; Firm Heterogeneity;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2014-14. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cepiifr.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.