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Trade and Prices with Heterogeneous Firms

  • Robert Johnson

    (UC Berkeley)

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    This paper estimates a heterogeneous firms trade model using disaggregate data on export values and prices. Prices contain information about differences in product quality across firms and countries that helps identify key mechanisms in the model. Examining within country variation in export prices across destination markets, I find that prices behave in a manner inconsistent with the benchmark model that ignores product quality differences across firms. In doing so, I demonstrate that export prices in most sectors are consistent with a model in which high productivity firms choose to produce high quality goods and charge high prices. Using model estimates, I also quantify the role of endogenous nontradability in accounting for variation in prices and trade flows, and construct an index of cross-country quality and variety within sectors.

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    File URL: https://www.economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2008/paper_244.pdf
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    Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2008 Meeting Papers with number 244.

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    Date of creation: 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:red:sed008:244
    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
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    1. George Alessandria & Horag Choi, 2005. "Do sunk costs of exporting matter for net export dynamics?," Working Papers 05-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
    5. Rubinstein, Yona & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," Scholarly Articles 3228230, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Robert C. Feenstra & John Romalis & Peter K. Schott, 2002. "U.S. Imports, Exports, and Tariff Data, 1989-2001," NBER Working Papers 9387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Costas Arkolakis, 2007. "Market Access Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," 2007 Meeting Papers 234, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Hallak, Juan Carlos & Sivadasan, Jagadeesh, 2008. "Productivity, quality and exporting behavior under minimum quality constraints," MPRA Paper 24146, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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