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Evidence of Product Differentiation and Relative Quality in Italian Trade

Stefano Chiarlone ()

No 114, KITeS Working Papers from KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy

Abstract: Intra-Industry Trade implies similar trade specialisation and is often associated with product differentiation. Differentiation depends on either quality or characteristics and two-way flows can be divided accordingly. If quality matters, we can measure relative quality of exports and imports. Our objective is to apply this analysis to Italian trade with industrialised countries. Our results suggest a prevalence of two-way flows at the aggregate level. This finding hides sectoral and bilateral heterogeneity. Vertical flows prevail over horizontal flows in most sectors and for most countries. That reduces the competitive concerns linked to the similar specialisation. Finally, quality of Italian exports is lower than that of imports, but seems to be increasing.

Keywords: Intra-Industry Trade; Trade specialisation; Quality and horizontal differentiation; Sectoral and bilateral Italian trade; Competitive pressure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2000-07, Revised 2000-07
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