IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

International Prices and Endogenous Quality

  • Robert C. Feenstra
  • John Romalis

The unit values of internationally traded goods are heavily influenced by quality. We model this in an extended monopolistic competition framework where, in addition to choosing price, firms simultaneously choose quality. We allow countries to have non-homothetic demand for quality. The optimal choice of quality by firms reflects this non-homothetic demand as well as the costs of production, including specific transport costs, under the "Washington apples" effect. We estimate the implied gravity equation using detailed bilateral trade data for about 200 countries over 1984-2008. Our system identifies quality and quality-adjusted prices, from which we will construct price indexes for imports and exports for each country that will be incorporated into the next generation of the Penn World Table.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18314.

in new window

Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Article: Robert C. Feenstra and John Romalis International Prices and Endogenous Quality* The Quarterly Journal of Economics first published online February 5, 2014 doi:10.1093/qje/qju001
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18314
Note: ITI
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Eddy Bekkers & Joseph Francois & Miriam Manchin, 2012. "Import Prices, Income, and Inequality," IIDE Discussion Papers 20120201, Institue for International and Development Economics.
  2. Stephen Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "Economic geography and international inequality," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3714, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1975. "International Trade Prices and Price Proxies," NBER Chapters, in: The Role of the Computer in Economic and Social Research in Latin America, pages 253-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Richard Baldwin & James Harrigan, 2007. "Zeros, Quality and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bilbiie, Florin Ovidiu & Ghironi, Fabio & Melitz, Marc J, 2011. "Endogenous Entry, Product Variety, and Business Cycles," CEPR Discussion Papers 8564, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Matthieu Crozet & Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2009. "Quality sorting and trade: Firm-level evidence for French wine," Sciences Po publications 7295, Sciences Po.
  7. Ina Simonovska, 2010. "Income differences and prices of tradables," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 55, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  8. Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1151 - 1199.
  9. Angus Deaton & Alan Heston, 2010. "Understanding PPPs and PPP-Based National Accounts," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 1-35, October.
  10. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum & Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2009. "Income Distribution, Product Quality, and International Trade," NBER Working Papers 15329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Mary Amiti & Amit K. Khandelwal, 2009. "Import Competition and Quality Upgrading," NBER Working Papers 15503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ina Simonovska & Michael E. Waugh, 2011. "The Elasticity of Trade: Estimates and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 3356, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Ina Simonovska & Michael E. Waugh, 2014. "Trade Models, Trade Elasticities, and the Gains from Trade," NBER Working Papers 20495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Baldwin, Richard & Ito, Tadashi, 2008. "Quality Competition Versus Price Competition Goods: An Empirical Classification," CEPR Discussion Papers 6952, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Benjamin R. Mandel, 2010. "Heterogeneous firms and import quality: evidence from transaction-level prices," International Finance Discussion Papers 991, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2004. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," 2004 Meeting Papers 802, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel S. Kortum & Sebastian Sotelo, 2012. "International Trade: Linking Micro and Macro," NBER Working Papers 17864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Robert C. Feenstra & John Romalis & Peter K. Schott, 2002. "U.S. Imports, Exports, and Tariff Data, 1989-2001," NBER Working Papers 9387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Diewert, W Erwin, 1978. "Superlative Index Numbers and Consistency in Aggregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 883-900, July.
  20. Simonovska, Ina; Waugh, Michael E., 2010. "The Elasticity of Trade: Estimates & Evidence," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 13, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  21. Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-product Versus Within-product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 646-677, May.
  22. 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)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18314. 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: ()

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.