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Measuring quality and non-cost competitiveness at a country-product level


  • Francesco Di Comite


This paper contributes to the ongoing debate on macroeconomic imbalances and external competitiveness by developing a set of indicators of export capability at a country-product level which can be used to complement the existing toolkit of instruments based mostly on unit labour costs and relative price levels. A micro-founded methodology is here proposed to extract information on the capacity of a country's exporters to compete abroad by combining trade and macroeconomic data. In particular, light is shed on two independent components of demand for a particular variety (country-product combination): markups-shifting "quality" and sales-boosting "non-cost competitiveness". Together with cost efficiency and information on foreign prices and consumption, these additional indicators may foster our understanding of the determinants of a country's external position, thus providing better guidance for policymaking.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Di Comite, 2012. "Measuring quality and non-cost competitiveness at a country-product level," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 467, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  • Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0467

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Di Comite, 2016. "Measuring quality, willingness to pay and selling capacity at a country-product-destination level using aggregate trade data," JRC Working Papers JRC102122, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms


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