IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Verti-zontal differentiation in export markets

  • DI COMITE, Francesco

    (Université catholique de Louvain, IRES, Belgium; European Commission, Sevilla)

  • THISSE , Jacques


    (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, Belgium; NRU Higher School of Economics, St Petersburg, Russia)

  • ,

Many trade models of monopolistic competition identify cost efficiency as the main determinant of firm performance in export markets. To date, the analysis of demand factors has received much less attention. We propose a new model where consumer preferences are asymmetric across varieties and heterogeneous across countries. The model generates new predictions and allows for an identification of horizontal differentiation (taste) clearly distinguished from vertical differentiation (quality). Data patterns observed in Belgian firm-product level exports by destination are congruent with the predictions and seem to warrant a richer modelling of consumer demand.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2013064.

in new window

Date of creation: 11 Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2013064
Contact details of provider: Postal: Voie du Roman Pays 34, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)
Phone: 32(10)474321
Fax: +32 10474304
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Thierry Mayer & Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2012. "Market Size, Competition, and the Product Mix of Exporters," CEP Discussion Papers dp1146, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Martina Lawless & Karl Whelan, 2008. "Where do firms export, how much, and why?," Working Papers 200821, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  3. Pablo Fajgelbaum & Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality, and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(4), pages 721 - 765.
  4. Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Jacques‐François Thisse, 2011. "Monopolistic Competition, Multiproduct Firms And Product Diversity," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 79(5), pages 938-951, 09.
  5. Beata Javorcik & Peter Neary & Carsten Eckel & Leonardo Iacovone, 2010. "Multi-product firms at home and away: Cost- versus quality-based competence," Economics Series Working Papers 522, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Robert C. Feenstra & John Romalis, 2014. "International Prices and Endogenous Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(2), pages 477-527.
  7. Yongmin Chen & Michael H. Riordan, 2007. "Price and Variety in the Spokes Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 897-921, 07.
  8. Kugler, Maurice & Verhoogen, Eric, 2009. "The Quality-Complementarity Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence from Colombia," IZA Discussion Papers 3932, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Crozet, Matthieu & Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2009. "Quality Sorting And Trade: Firm-Level Evidence For French Wine," Working Papers 53883, American Association of Wine Economists.
  10. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel S & Kramarz, Francis, 2009. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 7111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco & THISSE, Jacques-François, 1999. "Agglomeration and trade revisited," CORE Discussion Papers 1999041, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  12. 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.
  13. Richard Baldwin & James Harrigan, 2007. "Zeros, Quality and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity (DOI:10.111/j.1467-937x.2007.00463.x)," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 985-985.
  16. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2005. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," Working Papers 05-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  17. 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.
  18. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Trade Liberalization," CEP Discussion Papers dp0769, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  19. Jaskold Gabszewicz, J. & Thisse, J. -F., 1979. "Price competition, quality and income disparities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 340-359, June.
  20. Aw, Bee Yan & Batra, Geeta & Roberts, Mark J., 2001. "Firm heterogeneity and export-domestic price differentials: A study of Taiwanese electronics products," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 149-169, June.
  21. Peter Neary & Carsten Eckel, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," Economics Series Working Papers 292, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  22. Munch, Jakob R. & Nguyen, Daniel X., 2014. "Decomposing firm-level sales variation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 317-334.
  23. Martin, Julien, 2012. "Markups, quality, and transport costs," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 777-791.
  24. Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1151 - 1199.
  25. Lucia Foster & John C. Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2012. "The Slow Growth of New Plants: Learning about Demand?," NBER Working Papers 17853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Amit Khandelwal, 2010. "The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1450-1476.
  27. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, June.
  28. Hart, Oliver D, 1985. "Monopolistic Competition in the Spirit of Chamberlin: Special Results," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380), pages 889-908, December.
  29. Jessie Handbury & David E. Weinstein, 2015. "Goods Prices and Availability in Cities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(1), pages 258-296.
  30. Hallak, Juan Carlos & Sivadasan, Jagadeesh, 2013. "Product and process productivity: Implications for quality choice and conditional exporter premia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 53-67.
  31. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487, 05.
  32. 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.
  33. Bastos, Paulo & Silva, Joana, 2010. "The quality of a firm's exports: Where you export to matters," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 99-111, November.
  34. Hiau Looi Kee & Kala Krishna, 2007. "Firm Level Heterogeneous Productivity and Demand Shocks: Evidence from Bangladesh," NBER Working Papers 13698, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Brooks, Eileen L., 2006. "Why don't firms export more? Product quality and Colombian plants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 160-178, June.
  36. Jakob R. Munch & Daniel X., 2008. "Decomposing Firm-level Sales Variation," EPRU Working Paper Series 2009-05, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics, revised Jun 2009.
  37. Jonathan Vogel, 2008. "Spatial Competition with Heterogeneous Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 423-466, 06.
  38. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality and International Trade," 2011 Meeting Papers 415, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  39. Johnson, Robert C., 2012. "Trade and prices with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 43-56.
  40. Hart, Oliver D, 1985. "Monopolistic Competition in the Spirit of Chamberlin: A General Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 529-46, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2013064. 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: (Alain GILLIS)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.