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Trade, Economic Geography and the Choice of Product Quality

  • Pierre M. Picard

    ()

    (CREA, University of Luxembourg and CORE, Universit é Catholique de Louvain)

The present paper studies the effect of the choice of product quality on trade and location of firms. We build a quality-augmented model where consumers have preferences for the quality of a set of differentiated varieties. Firms do not only develop and sell manufacturing varieties in a monopolistic competitive market but also determine the quality level of their varieties by investing in research and de- velopment. We explore the price and quality equilibrium properties when firms are immobile. We then consider a footloose capital model where capital is allocated to the manufacturing firms in the region offering the highest return. We show that the larger region produces varieties of higher quality and that the quality gap increases with larger asymmetries in region sizes and with larger trade costs. Finally, the home market effect is mitigated when firms choose their product quality.

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File URL: http://wwwfr.uni.lu/content/download/57175/676717/file/2012-11%20-%20Trade,%20Economic%20Geography%20and%20the%20Choice%20of%20Product%20Quality.pdf
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Paper provided by Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg in its series CREA Discussion Paper Series with number 12-11.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:luc:wpaper:12-11
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  4. Pierre M. Picard & Toshihiro Okubo, 2011. "Firms Location under Demand Heterogeneity," CREA Discussion Paper Series 11-07, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
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  15. Toshihiro Okubo & Pierre M. Picard & Jacques-François Thisse, 2010. "On zero and asymmetric trade flows," CREA Discussion Paper Series 10-08, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
  16. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jenson & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-Francois Tissse, 1999. "Agglomeration and Trade Revisited," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-65, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
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  25. BEHRENS, Kristian, . "How endogenous asymmetries in interregional market access trigger regional divergence," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1778, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  30. Okubo, Toshihiro & Picard, Pierre M., 2008. "Firms’ location Under taste and demand heterogeneity," CORE Discussion Papers 2008071, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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