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Income-related biases in international trade : what do trademark registration data tell us?

  • Carsten Fink
  • Javorcik,Beata
  • Mariana Spatareanu

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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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3150.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3150
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  1. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-29, March-Apr.
  2. Benjamin Klein & Keith B. Leffler, 1980. "Non-Governmental Enforcement of Contracts: The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Quality," UCLA Economics Working Papers 177, UCLA Department of Economics.
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  7. Sullivan, M., 2001. "How Many Trademarks Does it Take to Protect a Brand? The Optimal Number of Trademarks, Branding Strategy and Brand Performance," Papers 01-2, U.S. Department of Justice - Antitrust Division.
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  13. Alan Deardorff, 1998. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," NBER Chapters, in: The Regionalization of the World Economy, pages 7-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  19. Baroncelli, Eugenia & Kink, Carsten & Smarzynska Javorcik, Beata, 2004. "The global distribution of trademarks - some stylized facts," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3270, The World Bank.
  20. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1989. "The Generalized Gravity Equation, Monopolistic Competition, and the Factor-Proportions Theory in International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 143-53, February.
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  22. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1985. "The Gravity Equation in International Trade: Some Microeconomic Foundations and Empirical Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 474-81, August.
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