IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders

  • Amit Khandelwal

    (Yale University)

Quality specialization may help insulate workers in developed countries from low-wage country competition by weakening the convergence in goods and factor prices implied by international trade. I develop a model in which vulnerability to low-wage country competition decreases with a product market's degree of vertical differentiation. To test the implications of this model, I measure countries' export quality by exploiting both price and market share information, which contrasts to earlier work that uses only price data. The quality estimates reveal that product markets vary widely in their degree of vertical differentiation, measured by the range of qualities observed in the market. The variation in the lengths of these products' "quality ladders" indicates that quality specialization is more feasible in some product markets than in others. Consistent with the model, the impact of low-wage import penetration on U.S. manufacturing employment is weaker in industries characterized by longer quality ladders. This evidence suggests that product quality is an important factor for understanding how international trade affects firms and workers.

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: https://www.economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2007/paper_244.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2007 Meeting Papers with number 244.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed007:244
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Fax: 1-314-444-8731
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
Email:


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. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2007. "Distributional Effects of Globalization in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(1), pages 39-82, March.
  2. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  3. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," NBER Working Papers 10314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hallak, Juan Carlos & Sivadasan, Jagadeesh, 2011. "Firms' Exporting Behavior under Quality Constraints," Working Papers 628, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  5. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530, 05.
  6. Peter K. Schott & Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding, 2005. "Products and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 11575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Rodrik, Dani, 2006. "What's So Special About China's Exports?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5484, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-77, March.
  9. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Carsten Eckel & J Peter Neary, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," Working Papers 200608, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  11. Leamer, Edward E, 1987. "Paths of Development in the Three-Factor, n-Good General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 961-99, October.
  12. Irwin, Douglas & Pavcnik, Nina, 2003. "Airbus versus Boeing Revisited: International Competition in the Aircraft Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 3876, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1995. "Product Differentiation and Oligopoly in International Markets: The Case of the U.S. Automobile Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 891-951, July.
  14. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Survival of the Best Fit: Exposure to Low-Wage Countries and the (Uneven) Growth of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," CEP Discussion Papers dp0584, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  15. Aviv Nevo, 1998. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," NBER Working Papers 6387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Fajgelbaum, Pablo & Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 2011. "Income distribution, product quality, and international trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5843, The World Bank.
  17. Philippe Aghion & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt & Susanne Prantl, 2006. "The Effects of Entry on Incumbent Innovation and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 12027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Maurice Kugler & Eric Verhoogen, 2008. "The Quality-Complementarity Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence from Colombia," NBER Working Papers 14418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 13054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Juan Carlos Hallak & Peter K. Schott, 2011. "Estimating Cross-Country Differences in Product Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 417-474.
  21. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  22. Volker Nocke & Stephen Yeaple, 2006. "Globalization and Endogenous Firm Scope," NBER Working Papers 12322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. C. A. Hidalgo & B. Klinger & A. -L. Barabasi & R. Hausmann, 2007. "The Product Space Conditions the Development of Nations," Papers 0708.2090, arXiv.org.
  24. Antras, Pol, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," Scholarly Articles 3196328, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  25. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2001. "An Account of Global Factor Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1423-1453, December.
  26. David Hummels & Alexandre Skiba, 2002. "Shipping the Good Apples Out? An Empirical Confirmation of the Alchian-Allen Conjecture," NBER Working Papers 9023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Richard Baldwin & James Harrigan, 2011. "Zeros, Quality, and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 60-88, May.
  28. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1999. "The Impact Of Outsourcing And High-Technology Capital On Wages: Estimates For The United States, 1979-1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 907-940, August.
  29. Anderson, Simon P. & De Palma, Andre & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1987. "The CES is a discrete choice model?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 139-140.
  30. Amiti, Mary & Khandelwal, Amit, 2009. "Competition and Quality Upgrading," CEPR Discussion Papers 7562, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  31. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Quality Ladders And Product Cycles," Papers 39-89, Tel Aviv.
  32. Feenstra, Robert C, 1988. "Quality Change under Trade Restraints in Japanese Autos," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 131-46, February.
  33. Neven, D. & Thisse, J-F., 1989. "On Quality And Variety Competition," CORE Discussion Papers 1989020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  34. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  35. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1, June.
  36. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Vertical Product Differentiation and North-South Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 810-22, December.
  37. Cardell, N. Scott, 1997. "Variance Components Structures for the Extreme-Value and Logistic Distributions with Application to Models of Heterogeneity," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 185-213, April.
  38. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Howard J. Shatz, 1994. "Trade and Jobs in Manufacturing," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 1-84.
  39. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "Industrial Wage and Employment Determination in an Open Economy," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 235-259 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Revenga, Ana L, 1992. "Exporting Jobs? The Impact of Import Competition on Employment and Wages in U.S. Manufacturing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 255-84, February.
  41. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2006. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  42. repec:bla:restud:v:77:y:2010:i:1:p:188-217 is not listed on IDEAS
  43. Mary Amiti & Amit K. Khandelwal, 2013. "Import Competition and Quality Upgrading," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 476-490, May.
  44. 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.
  45. Hallak, Juan Carlos, 2006. "Product quality and the direction of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 238-265, January.
  46. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
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:red:sed007:244. 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: (Christian Zimmermann)

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.