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Non-Price Competitiveness Gains of Central, Eastern and Southeastern European Countries in the EU Market

Konstantins Benkovskis () and Julia Wörz ()
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Julia Wörz: Foreign Research Division, Oesterreichische Nationalbank,

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Julia Maria Woerz ()

Focus on European Economic Integration, 2012, issue 3, 27-47

Abstract: We propose an export price indicator adjusted for non-price factors as a more meaningful measure of a country’s competitiveness than traditional indicators. Our starting point is the approach developed by Broda and Weinstein (2006), who adjust price developments for changes in varieties of imported products. We relax their assumption of unchanged quality over time and use the proposed index to analyze the momentum of export prices of the ten CESEE EU members which acceded in 2004 and 2007. The index is calculated using data from Eurostat Comext at the highly disaggregated eight-digit CN product level. Our analysis spans the time period 1999 to 2011, thus including the recent global recession period in 2009. The results show that all CESEE-10 countries experienced a loss in price competitiveness, but that the loss was much smaller than is usually suggested by traditional CPI- or ULC-based real effective exchange rate measures. Although relative export prices (unit values) increased more strongly in the CESEE-10 countries as compared to their competitors, the average quality of their goods increased even more strongly, thus fully compensating for the rise in prices. These improvements in non-price competitiveness were pronounced in all CESEE-10 countries.

Keywords: Non-price competitiveness; quality; relative export price; new EU Member States (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C43 F12 F14 L15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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