IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/12712.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Product-Quality View of the Linder Hypothesis

Author

Listed:
  • Juan Carlos Hallak

Abstract

The Linder hypothesis states that countries of similar income per capita should trade more intensely with one another. This hypothesis has attracted substantial research over decades, but the empirical evidence has failed to provide consistent support for it. This paper shows that the reason for the failure is the use of an inappropriate empirical benchmark, the gravity equation estimated using trade data aggregated across sectors. The paper builds a theoretical framework in which, as in Linder's theory, product quality plays the central role. A formal derivation of the Linder hypothesis is obtained, but this hypothesis is shown to hold only if it is formulated as a sector-level prediction. The "sectoral Linder hypothesis" is then estimated on a sample of 64 countries in 1995. The results support the prediction: after controlling for inter-sectoral determinants of trade, countries of similar per-capita income trade more intensely with one another. The paper also shows that a systematic aggregation bias explains the failure of the previous empirical literature to find support for Linder's theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Carlos Hallak, 2006. "A Product-Quality View of the Linder Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 12712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12712
    Note: ITI
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12712.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dow, James & da Costa Werlang, Sergio Ribeiro, 1992. "Homothetic preferences," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 389-394.
    2. Brooks, Eileen L., 2006. "Why don't firms export more? Product quality and Colombian plants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 160-178, June.
    3. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530.
    4. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    5. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2001. "Quantifying Quality Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1006-1030, September.
    6. Leamer, Edward E. & Levinsohn, James, 1995. "International trade theory: The evidence," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1339-1394, Elsevier.
    7. Murphy, Kevin M. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1997. "Quality and trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-15, June.
    8. repec:hrv:faseco:30722111 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Thursby, Jerry G & Thursby, Marie C, 1987. "Bilateral Trade Flows, the Linder Hypothesis, and Exchange Risk," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(3), pages 488-495, August.
    10. John Romalis, 2004. "Factor Proportions and the Structure of Commodity Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 67-97, March.
    11. Alan V. Deardorff, 2011. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Robert M Stern (ed.), Comparative Advantage, Growth, And The Gains From Trade And Globalization A Festschrift in Honor of Alan V Deardorff, chapter 24, pages 267-293, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    12. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1989. "The Generalized Gravity Equation, Monopolistic Competition, and the Factor-Proportions Theory in International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 143-153, February.
    13. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2000. "A Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods under Nonhomothetic Preferences: Demand Complementarities, Income Distribution, and North-South Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1093-1120, December.
    14. Hallak, Juan Carlos, 2006. "Product quality and the direction of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 238-265, January.
    15. Chen, Maggie Xiaoyang & Otsuki, Tsunehiro & Wilson, John S., 2006. "Do standards matter for export success ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3809, The World Bank.
    16. Nancy L. Stokey, 1991. "The Volume and Composition of Trade Between Rich and Poor Countries," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 63-80.
    17. James R. Markusen, 2021. "Explaining the Volume of Trade: An Eclectic Approach," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: BROADENING TRADE THEORY Incorporating Market Realities into Traditional Models, chapter 9, pages 177-186, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    18. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
    19. Francois, Joseph F & Kaplan, Seth, 1996. "Aggregate Demand Shifts, Income Distribution, and the Linder Hypothesis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 244-250, May.
    20. Muhammed Dalgin & Devashish Mitra & Vitor Trindade, 2004. "Inequality, Nonhomothetic Preferences, and Trade: A Gravity Approach," NBER Working Papers 10800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
    22. Yo Chul Choi & David Hummels & Chong Xiang, 2006. "Explaining Import Variety and Quality: The Role of the Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 12531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Maskus, Keith E. & Otsuki, Tsunehiro & Wilson, John S., 2005. "The cost of compliance with product standards for firms in developing countries: an econometric study," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3590, The World Bank.
    24. Deardorff, Alan V., 1984. "Testing trade theories and predicting trade flows," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 467-517, Elsevier.
    25. Warren J Bilkey & Erik Nes, 1982. "Country-of-Origin Effects on Product Evaluations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 13(1), pages 89-100, March.
    26. 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.
    27. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2006. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    28. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Vertical Product Differentiation and North-South Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 810-822, December.
    29. Michael McPherson & Michael Redfearn & Margie Tieslau, 2001. "International trade and developing countries: an empirical investigation of the Linder hypothesis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(5), pages 649-657.
    30. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Juan Carlos Hallak, 2004. "Product Quality, Linder, and the Direction of Trade," NBER Working Papers 10877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Pablo Fajgelbaum & Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality, and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(4), pages 721-765.
    3. Hallak, Juan Carlos, 2006. "Product quality and the direction of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 238-265, January.
    4. Jaimovich, Esteban & Merella, Vincenzo, 2015. "Love for quality, comparative advantage, and trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 376-391.
    5. Rosario Crinò & Paolo Epifani, 2009. "Productivity, Quality and Export Behavior (Revised version of: Firm-Export Intensity and Productivity, September 2011)," Development Working Papers 271, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    6. Yo Chul Choi & David Hummels & Chong Xiang, 2006. "Explaining Import Variety and Quality: The Role of the Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 12531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Brooks, Eileen L., 2006. "Why don't firms export more? Product quality and Colombian plants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 160-178, June.
    8. Tarasov, Alexander, 2012. "Per capita income, market access costs, and trade volumes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 284-294.
    9. Eleonora Cavallaro & Piero Esposito & Alessia Matano & Marcella Mulino, 2013. "Technological Catching Up, Quality of Exports, and Competitiveness: A Sectoral Perspective," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(6), pages 4-21, November.
    10. Carsten Fink & Beata Smarzynska Javorcik & Mariana Spatareanu, 2005. "Income-Related Biases in International Trade: What Do Trademark Registration Data Tell Us?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 141(1), pages 79-103, April.
    11. James Harrigan, 2001. "Specialization and the Volume of Trade: Do the Data Obey the Laws?," NBER Working Papers 8675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. James R. Markusen, 2021. "Putting per-capita income back into trade theory," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: BROADENING TRADE THEORY Incorporating Market Realities into Traditional Models, chapter 10, pages 187-197, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    13. 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.
    14. Alcalá, Francisco, 2016. "Specialization across goods and export quality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 216-232.
    15. Mr. Ashoka Mody & Ms. Deniz O Igan & Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, 2007. "The Dynamics of Product Quality and International Competitiveness," IMF Working Papers 2007/097, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530.
    17. Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Sebastian Vollmer, 2016. "Bilateral Trade Flows and Income Distribution Similarity," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 11(5), pages 1-12, May.
    18. Jonathan Eaton & Ana Cecília Fieler, 2019. "The Margins of Trade," NBER Working Papers 26124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Co, Catherine Yap, 2010. "Intra- and inter-firm US trade," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 260-277, April.
    20. Schetter, Ulrich, 2016. "Comparative Advantages with Product Complexity and Product Quality," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145933, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12712. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.