Firm Heterogeneity, Endogenous Quality, and Traded Goods Prices

Bekkers, Eddy Henricus (2016). Firm Heterogeneity, Endogenous Quality, and Traded Goods Prices. The World Economy, 39(1), pp. 72-96. Wiley & Sons 10.1111/twec.12244

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A model with endogenous quality and firm heterogeneity is developed. Firms can invest in quality, and quality investment is relatively skill intensive. The model is used to account for two findings in the empirical literature on traded goods prices, lacking a formal explanation in the theoretical literature thus far. First, the model provides a theoretical explanation for Schott's (Quarterly Journal of Economics 2004, 119, 647) empirical finding that relatively skill-abundant countries export higher priced goods. Firms in these countries invest more in quality and therefore sell higher quality, higher priced goods. Second, the opposite effects of importer market size on traded goods prices at the firm level (positive) and at the aggregate level (negative) identified in the empirical literature can be explained with the model. In a larger market, the incentive to invest in quality is larger for each firm, leading to higher firm-level prices. Due to a selection effect, also less productive firms selling goods of lower quality can export to larger markets, implying lower aggregate prices.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Other Institutions > Teaching Staff, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences
02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > World Trade Institute
10 Strategic Research Centers > World Trade Institute

02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > NCCR International Trade Regulation

UniBE Contributor:

Bekkers, Eddy Henricus

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics

ISSN:

1467-9701

Publisher:

Wiley & Sons

Language:

English

Submitter:

Rebecca Anne Gilgen

Date Deposited:

21 Dec 2016 16:50

Last Modified:

21 Dec 2016 16:50

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/twec.12244

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/91716

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