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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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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:luc:wpaper:12-11
Contact details of provider: Postal: 162a avenue de la Faïencerie, L-1511 Luxembourg
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