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Import Competition and Quality Upgrading

Mary Amiti () and Amit Khandelwal

The Review of Economics and Statistics, 2013, vol. 95, issue 2, 476-490

Abstract: The production of high-quality goods is often viewed as a precondition for export success and economic development. We provide the first evidence that countries' import tariffs affect the rate at which they upgrade product quality. Our analysis uses highly disaggregated data covering exports from 56 countries across 10,000 products to the United States using a novel approach to measure quality. As predicted by distance-to-the-frontier models, we find that lower tariffs are associated with quality upgrading for products close to the world quality frontier, whereas lower tariffs discourage quality upgrading for products distant from the frontier. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Keywords: quality upgrading; import competition; proximity to frontier; growth politics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F1 O14 O30 O40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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Working Paper: Import Competition and Quality Upgrading (2009) Downloads
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The Review of Economics and Statistics is currently edited by Amitabh Chandra, Olivier Coibion, Bryan S. Graham, Shachar Kariv, Amit K. Khandelwal, Asim Ijaz Khwaja, Brigitte C. Madrian and Rohini Pande

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