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Trade Liberalization, Quality, and Export Prices

  • Fan, Haichao
  • Li, Yao Amber
  • Yeaple, Stephen

This paper presents theory and evidence from highly disaggregated Chinese data that tariff reductions induce a country's producers to upgrade the quality of the goods that they export. The paper first documents two stylized facts regarding the effect of trade liberalization on export prices and its relation with product differentiation. Next, the paper extends Melitz's (2003) model of trade with heterogeneous firms by introducing endogenous quality choice. The model predicts that a reduction in the import tariff induces an incumbent importer/exporter to increase the quality of its exports and to raise its export price in industries where the scope for quality differentiation is large while to lower its export price in industries where the scope for quality differentiation is small. The predictions are consistent with the stylized facts based on Chinese data and robust to various estimation specifications.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 51370.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:51370
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  1. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Amit Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2008. "Imported Intermediate Inputs and Domestic Product Growth: Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 14416, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Juan Carlos Hallak, 2010. "A Product-Quality View of the Linder Hypothesis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(3), pages 453-466, August.
  5. Kalina Manova & Zhiwei Zhang, 2009. "Export Prices Across Firms and Destinations," NBER Working Papers 15342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Hiroyuki Kasahara & Joel Rodrigue, 2005. "Does the Use of Imported Intermediates Increase Productivity? Plant-Level Evidence," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20057, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
  8. De Loecker, Jan & Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou & Khandelwal, Amit & Pavcnik, Nina, 2012. "Prices, Markups and Trade Reform," CEPR Discussion Papers 8900, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Soderbery, Anson, 2015. "Estimating import supply and demand elasticities: Analysis and implications," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 1-17.
  10. Fan, Haichao & Lai, Edwin L.-C. & Li, Yao Amber, 2015. "Credit constraints, quality, and export prices: Theory and evidence from China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 390-416.
  11. Ahn, JaeBin & Khandelwal, Amit K. & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2011. "The role of intermediaries in facilitating trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 73-85, May.
  12. Loren Brandt & Johannes Van Biesebroeck & Yifan Zhang, 2009. "Creative Accounting or Creative Destruction? Firm-level Productivity Growth in Chinese Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 15152, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Tybout, James & de Melo, Jamie & Corbo, Vittorio, 1991. "The effects of trade reforms on scale and technical efficiency : New evidence from Chile," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3-4), pages 231-250, November.
  14. Hongbin Cai & Qiao Liu, 2009. "Competition and Corporate Tax Avoidance: Evidence from Chinese Industrial Firms," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 764-795, 04.
  15. Daniel Trefler, 2006. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 41, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  16. Antoine Gervais, 2013. "Product Quality and Firm Heterogeneity in International Trade," Working Papers 13-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  17. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Heiwai Tang & Yifan Zhang, 2012. "Quality Differentiation and Trade Intermediation," Development Working Papers 340, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 13 Nov 2012.
  19. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
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