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New Evidence on Product Quality and Trade

  • Hasan Faruq


    (Indiana University Bloomington)

This paper examines why different countries export different qualities of products.Previous studies have attributed quality dispersion to differences in factor endowments while no empirical work has been done examining the effect of technology on quality. Using panel data on U.S. imports from 58 countries, we find that the export of high quality differentiated goods is associated with both higher stock of physical capital endowments and research and development (R&D) activities. We also observe that foreign direct investment (FDI) has a positive effect on quality, which is consistent with the literature on FDI and intra-industry trade. These results cannot be replicated by using the reduced form OLS price regression which is commonly used in the literature. Instead, we use a two-equation system in price and quantity to identify the determinants of quality.

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Paper provided by Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington in its series Caepr Working Papers with number 2006-019.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inu:caeprp:2006019
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  1. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  2. Wößmann, Ludger, 2003. "Specifying human capital," Munich Reprints in Economics 19660, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  4. 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.
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  9. José Manuel Martins Caetano & Aurora Galego, 2006. "In Search for Determinants of Intra-Industry Trade within an Enlarged Europe," Economics Working Papers 2_2006, University of Évora, Department of Economics (Portugal).
  10. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
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  12. Hallak, Juan Carlos, 2006. "Product quality and the direction of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 238-265, 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. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Vertical Product Differentiation and North-South Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 810-22, December.
  15. Filippo Reganati & Rosanna Pittiglio, 2005. "Vertical Intra-Industry Trade: Patterns And Determinants In The Italian Case," Quaderni DSEMS 06-2005, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Matematiche e Statistiche, Universita' di Foggia.
  16. Damijan, Joze P. & Knell, Mark & Majcen, Boris & Rojec, Matija, 2003. "The role of FDI, R&D accumulation and trade in transferring technology to transition countries: evidence from firm panel data for eight transition countries," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 189-204, June.
  17. C. Simon Fan, 2005. "Increasing Returns, Product Quality and International Trade," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(285), pages 151-169, 02.
  18. Kamal Abd-el-Rahman, 1991. "Firms’ competitive and national comparative advantages as joint determinants of trade composition," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 83-97, March.
  19. Blomstrom, Magnus & Kokko, Ari, 1997. "How foreign investment affects host countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1745, The World Bank.
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