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The success of “Made in Italy”: an appraisal of quality-based competitiveness in food markets


  • A. Ninni
  • M. Raimondi
  • M. Zuppiroli



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.

Suggested Citation

  • A. Ninni & M. Raimondi & M. Zuppiroli, 2006. "The success of “Made in Italy”: an appraisal of quality-based competitiveness in food markets," Economics Department Working Papers 2006-EP10, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
  • Handle: RePEc:par:dipeco:2006-ep10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert E. Lipsey, 1994. "Quality Change and other Influences on Measures of Export Prices of Manufactured Goods and the Terms of Trade between Primary Products and Manufacture," NBER Working Papers 4671, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1987. "The Causes and Consequences of the Dependence of Quality on Price," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 1-48, March.
    3. Stefano Chiarlone, 2000. "Evidence of Product Differentiation and Relative Quality in Italian Trade," KITeS Working Papers 114, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jul 2000.
    4. Jacint Balaguer & Vicente Orts & Jose C. Perneas, 2004. "Measuring Pricing to Market in the Eurozone: The Case of the Automobile Industry," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 261-271, July.
    5. Fabrizio Onida, 2004. "La Proiezione Internazionale dell'Italia," KITeS Working Papers 156, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jul 2004.
    6. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou & Knetter, Michael M., 1999. "Measuring the intensity of competition in export markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 27-60, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Agostino, Mariarosaria & Trivieri, Francesco, 2014. "Geographical indication and wine exports. An empirical investigation considering the major European producers," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 22-36.
    2. Curzi, Daniele & Olper, Alessandro, 2012. "Export behavior of Italian food firms: Does product quality matter?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 493-503.

    More about this item


    Quality; Italian trade; food;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L66 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco

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