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How Does Quality Impact on Import Prices?

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Abstract

Understanding the dynamics of import price developments is an important but challenging issue which affects the way we look on consumers' welfare, real exchange rates and exchange rate pass-through. In this paper we propose an exact import price index which extends the approach by Broda and Weinstein (2006) who adjust price developments for changes in varieties of imported products. We relax two assumptions still underlying the Broda and Weinstein (2006) approach, thus allowing the set of imported goods and the quality to vary. This variety-, set-of-products-, and quality-adjusted import price index shows that gains from variety in European G7 countries, although positive, are rather small compared to calculated gains from quality. Using HS 07 (vegetables) as our benchmark group of products with unchanged quality, we find significant gains from quality for Germany, France, Italy and the UK between 1995 and 2010. Although these results are not invariant to the choice of the benchmark category, they clearly stress the importance of incorporating the quality issues in empirical literature. Ignoring changes in import quality can give misleading estimates of import prices and consumers' welfare.

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  • Konstantins Benkovskis & Julia Wörz, 2011. "How Does Quality Impact on Import Prices?," Working Papers 175, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbwp:175
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Wörz, Julia & Benkovskis, Konstantins, 2013. "Non-price competitiveness of exports from emerging countries," Working Paper Series 1612, European Central Bank.
    2. José R Sánchez-Fung, 2013. "Examining the role of monetary aggregates in China," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, pages 1290-1299.
    3. repec:hhs:bofitp:2012_019 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Benkovskis, Konstantins & Wörz, Julia, 2013. "What drives the market share changes? : Price versus non-price factors," BOFIT Discussion Papers 18/2013, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    5. Konstantīns Beņkovskis, 2012. "Competitiveness of Latvia's exporters," Baltic Journal of Economics, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies, vol. 12(2), pages 17-45, December.
    6. Benkovskis, Konstantins & Wörz, Julia, 2013. "What drives the market share changes? : Price versus non-price factors," BOFIT Discussion Papers 18/2013, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    7. Konstantins Benkovskis & Julia Wörz, 2012. "Non-Price Competitiveness Gains of Central, Eastern and Southeastern European Countries in the EU Market," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), pages 27-47.
    8. Maela Giofré, 2012. "Convergence of EMU Equity Portfolios," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 381-419, April.
    9. Konstantins Benkovskis & Julia Wörz, 2016. "Non-price competitiveness of exports from emerging countries," Empirical Economics, Springer, pages 707-735.
    10. Konstantins Benkovskis & Julia Woerz, 2014. ""Made in China" - How Does it Affect Measures of Competitiveness?," Working Papers 2014/04, Latvijas Banka.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    import variety; price index; quality; welfare gains from trade;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

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