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Average income, income inequality and export unit values

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  • Hélène Latzer

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CEREC - Université Saint-Louis - Bruxelles)

  • Florian Mayneris

    (UQAM - Université du Québec à Montréal = University of Québec in Montréal)

Abstract

This paper analyses the relationship between a country's income distribution and its exports' unit values. Using bilateral export flows, we not only confirm the positive relationship between a country's average income and the quality of its exports, but further identify a heterogeneous impact of income inequality: we find a greater income spread to be beneficial for an exporter's unit values in the case of poor countries only. These results are robust to the inclusion of controls for other determinants of export unit values, as well as to the use of alternative measures of income inequality and of the quality index. We finally show that this heterogeneous impact of income inequality along the average income dimension is consistent with models emphasizing the role of the composition of local demand in determining the comparative advantage of countries in terms of quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Hélène Latzer & Florian Mayneris, 2018. "Average income, income inequality and export unit values," Post-Print halshs-01901256, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-01901256
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01901256
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    1. Andrea Ciani, 2021. "Income inequality and the quality of imports," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 157(2), pages 375-416, May.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income distribution; Export Unit Values; Product quality; Trade; Home market effect;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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