NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Import Competition and Quality Upgrading

Mary Amiti, Amit K. Khandelwal

NBER Working Paper No. 15503
Issued in November 2009, Revised in December 2011
NBER Program(s):ITI

It is important to understand the factors that influence a country's transition from the production of low-quality to high-quality products since the production of high-quality goods is often viewed as a pre-condition for export success and, ultimately, for economic development. In this paper, we provide the first evidence that countries' import tariffs affect the rate at which they upgrade the quality of their products. We analyze the effect of import competition on quality upgrading using highly disaggregated export data to the U.S. from fifty-six countries in 10,000 products using a novel approach to measure quality. As predicted by recent 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.

download in pdf format
   (370 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15503

Published: Mary Amiti & Amit K. Khandelwal, 2013. "Import Competition and Quality Upgrading," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 476-490, May. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Hallak and Schott w13807 Estimating Cross-Country Differences in Product Quality
Bloom, Draca, and Van Reenen w16717 Trade Induced Technical Change? The Impact of Chinese Imports on Innovation, IT and Productivity
Khandelwal w15178 The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders
Fajgelbaum, Grossman, and Helpman w15329 Income Distribution, Product Quality, and International Trade
Baldwin and Ito w14305 Quality competition versus price competition goods: An empirical classification
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us