The success of “Made in Italy”: an appraisal of quality-based competitiveness in food markets
The role of quality is often stressed in explaining the Italian success in the international markets for consumption goods. Here the proxy for a quality led domain is a strong price rigidity of the demand in rich consuming countries for some food imports coming from Italy. Our analysis does not support this idea, as the usual price competition seems to be quite common also in very detailed food markets. It suggests that the quality image of Italian goods offers protection for some traditional products, but that this protection is not strong enough to counteract price competition. Then, the supposed incidence of the qualitatively superior Italian products on the total of the Italian products is probably overestimated.
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