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Determinants of Tanzanian export prices

  • Rollo, Valentina

. This paper uses firm-level data to study the pricing-behavior of Tanzanian exporters. The important question of how exporting firms make pricing decisions has not received significant attention in the trade literature, which is more focused on factors that determine export flows. The results of the paper show that the free on board price of Tanzanian exports is differentiated both across exporters -- within product-destination pairs -- and across markets -- within firm-product pairs. Moreover, contrasting with existing evidence, price differentiation across destinations seems to be mainly relevant for homogenous goods. This result could indicate either that goods classified as homogeneous can potentially be differentiated by their intrinsic quality (such as coffee), or that firms charge different mark-ups in different markets. Although further work is needed to confirm what leads to price dispersion, allowing for the possibility that food products can be vertically differentiable amplifies the spectrum of existing opportunities for developing countries to exploit product differentiation and market niches. The study also discusses the implications of the empirical findings in light of the predictions of price and quality competition models, but finds that the results cannot be explained by a single trade model of quality or price competition.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6225.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6225
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  1. Cadot, Olivier & Iacovone, Leonardo & Pierola, Denisse & Rauch, Ferdinand, 2011. "Success and failure of African exporters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5657, The World Bank.
  2. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  3. Kugler, M., Verhoogen, E.A., 2008. "Product Quality at the Plant Level: Plant Size, Exports, Output Prices and Input Prices in Colombia," Working Papers eg0058, Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2008.
  4. E. Baldwin, Richard & Ito, Tadashi, 2011. "Quality Competition Versus Price Competition Goods: An Empirical Classification," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 26, pages 110-135.
  5. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
  6. Javorcik, Beata S. & Narciso, Gaia, 2008. "Differentiated products and evasion of import tariffs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 208-222, December.
  7. Nicolas Berman & Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer, 2012. "How do Different Exporters React to Exchange Rate Changes?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 437-492.
  8. Amit Khandelwal, 2010. "The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1450-1476.
  9. repec:bla:restud:v:77:y:2010:i:4:p:1450-1476 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Kee, Hiau Looi & Nicita, Alessandro & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2004. "Import Demand Elasticities and Trade Distortions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4669, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Heiwai Tang & Yifan Zhang, 2012. "Quality Differentiation and Trade Intermediation," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0771, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  12. Martin, Julien, 2012. "Markups, quality, and transport costs," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 777-791.
  13. Kalina Manova & Zhiwei Zhang, 2009. "Export Prices Across Firms and Destinations," NBER Working Papers 15342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. Holger Görg & László Halpern & Balász Muraközy, 2010. "Why do within firm-product export prices differ across markets?," Kiel Working Papers 1596, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  16. Hallak, Juan Carlos, 2006. "Product quality and the direction of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 238-265, January.
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