Income-related biases in international trade : what do trademark registration data tell us?
Economists have long recognized that richer countries trade more among themselves than with poorer economies due to a closer match of exporter supply structures and importer preferences. In the literature, the closeness of supply and demand has traditionally been determined by the quality of products-as expressed in the so-called Linder hypothesis. This paper examines an extension of the Linder hypothesis by also considering the extent of horizontal product differentiation as another determinant of the closeness of supply and demand. The empirical analysis employs information on international trademark registrations to test whether richer countries import more from countries whose exports are of higher quality and exhibit a greater degree of product differentiation. The results lend support to the hypothesis in most consumer goods sectors but not in intermediate goods sectors.
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