IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/vfsc16/145933.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Comparative Advantages with Product Complexity and Product Quality

Author

Listed:
  • Schetter, Ulrich

Abstract

We analyze the interplay between product-intrinsic complexity and endogenously chosen product quality in international trade. Our work reveals a novel mecha-nism that can explain a rich set of empirical observations: (1) how specialization within products on quality can equalize comparative advantages across products,(2) why poor countries do not export a broad range of products nonetheless, and (3) why the share of products for which this is the case tends to be decreasing over time. Our theory motivates the use of a censored regression model to esti-mate the link between a country’s GDP per capita and the quality of its exports. Following this empirical strategy, we find a much stronger relationship than when using OLS, in line with our theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Schetter, Ulrich, 2016. "Comparative Advantages with Product Complexity and Product Quality," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145933, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc16:145933
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/145933/1/VfS_2016_pid_7077.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530.
    2. Costinot, Arnaud, 2009. "On the origins of comparative advantage," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 255-264, April.
    3. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    4. repec:clu:wpaper:0708-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
    6. Toshihiro Okubo, 2009. "Firm heterogeneity and Ricardian comparative advantage within and across sectors," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 38(3), pages 533-559, March.
    7. Pablo Fajgelbaum & Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality, and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(4), pages 721-765.
    8. 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.
    9. Murphy, Kevin M. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1997. "Quality and trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-15, June.
    10. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-959, December.
    11. repec:hrv:faseco:30722111 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Hallak, Juan Carlos & Sivadasan, Jagadeesh, 2013. "Product and process productivity: Implications for quality choice and conditional exporter premia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 53-67.
    13. Esteban Jaimovich & Vincenzo Merella, 2012. "Quality Ladders In A Ricardian Model Of Trade With Nonhomothetic Preferences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 908-937, August.
    14. Arnaud Costinot, 2009. "An Elementary Theory of Comparative Advantage," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1165-1192, July.
    15. Maurice Kugler & Eric Verhoogen, 2012. "Prices, Plant Size, and Product Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 307-339.
    16. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Comparative Advantage and Heterogeneous Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 31-66.
    17. Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-Product Versus Within-Product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 647-678.
    18. Jaimovich, Esteban & Merella, Vincenzo, 2015. "Love for quality, comparative advantage, and trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 376-391.
    19. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2000. "A Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods under Nonhomothetic Preferences: Demand Complementarities, Income Distribution, and North-South Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1093-1120, December.
    20. Chor, Davin, 2010. "Unpacking sources of comparative advantage: A quantitative approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 152-167, November.
    21. Nancy L. Stokey, 1991. "The Volume and Composition of Trade Between Rich and Poor Countries," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 63-80.
    22. Powell, James L., 1984. "Least absolute deviations estimation for the censored regression model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 303-325, July.
    23. Amit Khandelwal, 2010. "The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1450-1476.
    24. Haichao Fan & Edwin L.-C. Lai & Han Steffan Qi, 2011. "A Model of Trade with Ricardian Comparative Advantage and Intra-sectoral Firm Heterogeneity," CESifo Working Paper Series 3634, CESifo.
    25. Johnson, Robert C., 2012. "Trade and prices with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 43-56.
    26. 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.
    27. Richard T. Carson & Yixiao Sun, 2007. "The Tobit model with a non-zero threshold," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 10(3), pages 488-502, November.
    28. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
    29. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    30. Benedetti Fasil, Cristiana & Borota, Teodora, 2013. "World trade patterns and prices: The role of productivity and quality heterogeneity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 68-81.
    31. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality and International Trade," 2011 Meeting Papers 415, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    32. Ricardo Hausmann & César Hidalgo, 2011. "The network structure of economic output," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 309-342, December.
    33. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2005. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 704-723, June.
    34. Pham, Cong S., 2008. "Product specialization in international trade: A further investigation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 214-218, May.
    35. Arnaud Costinot & Dave Donaldson & Ivana Komunjer, 2012. "What Goods Do Countries Trade? A Quantitative Exploration of Ricardo's Ideas," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 581-608.
    36. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Vertical Product Differentiation and North-South Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 810-822, December.
    37. World Bank, 2013. "World Development Indicators 2013," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 13191.
    38. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Gersbach, Hans & Schmassmann, Samuel, 2019. "Skills, Tasks, and Complexity," IZA Discussion Papers 12770, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Alcalá, Francisco, 2016. "Specialization across goods and export quality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 216-232.
    2. Jaimovich, Esteban & Merella, Vincenzo, 2015. "Love for quality, comparative advantage, and trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 376-391.
    3. Pablo Fajgelbaum & Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality, and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(4), pages 721-765.
    4. A. Auer, Raphael & Chaney, Thomas & Sauré, Philip, 2018. "Quality pricing-to-market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 87-102.
    5. Crinò, Rosario & Ogliari, Laura, 2015. "Financial Frictions, Product Quality, and International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 10555, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Crinò, Rosario & Ogliari, Laura, 2017. "Financial imperfections, product quality, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 63-84.
    7. Jonathan Eaton & Ana Cecília Fieler, 2019. "The Margins of Trade," NBER Working Papers 26124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Lugovskyy, Volodymyr & Skiba, Alexandre, 2016. "Positive and negative effects of distance on export prices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 155-181.
    9. Brambilla, Irene & Porto, Guido G., 2016. "High-income export destinations, quality and wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 21-35.
    10. Melitz, Marc J. & Redding, Stephen J., 2014. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 1-54, Elsevier.
    11. Chen, Natalie & Juvenal, Luciana, 2016. "Quality, trade, and exchange rate pass-through," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 61-80.
    12. Kunal Dasgupta & Jordi Mondria, 2015. "Gains from Trade under Quality Uncertainty," Working Papers tecipa-526, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    13. Antoniades, Alexis, 2015. "Heterogeneous Firms, Quality, and Trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 263-273.
    14. Curzi, Daniele & Pacca, Lucia, 2015. "Price, quality and trade costs in the food sector," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 147-158.
    15. Bastos, Paulo & Silva, Joana, 2010. "The quality of a firm's exports: Where you export to matters," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 99-111, November.
    16. Flach, Lisandra, 2016. "Quality upgrading and price heterogeneity: Evidence from Brazilian exporters," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 282-290.
    17. Chen, Natalie & Juvenal, Luciana, 2019. "Markups, Quality, and Trade Costs," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 446, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    18. Bloom, Nick & Manova, Kalina & Teng Sun, Stephen & Van Reenen, John & Yu, Zhihong, 2018. "Managing trade: evidence from China and the US," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 88703, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    19. Chen, Natalie & Juvenal, Luciana, 2018. "Quality and the Great Trade Collapse," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 59-76.
    20. Raphael Auer, 2009. "Product Heterogeneity, Within-Industry Trade Patterns, and the Home Bias of Consumption?," Working Papers 09.05, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F19 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Other

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc16:145933. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfsocea.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfsocea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.