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The Determinants of Quality Specialization
December 17, 2015Macro, Trade, and Finance Seminar Series

Speaker: Jonathan Dingel is an Assistant Professor of Economics at University of Chicago. More »

Abstract: A growing literature suggests that high-income countries export high-quality goods. Two hypotheses may explain such specialization, with different implications for welfare, inequality, and trade policy. Fajgelbaum, Grossman, and Helpman (JPE 2011) formalize the Linder hypothesis that home demand determines the pattern of specialization and therefore predict that high-income locations export high-quality products. The factor-proportions model also predicts that skill-abundant, high-income locations export skill-intensive, high-quality products. Prior empirical evidence does not separate these explanations. I develop a model nesting both hypotheses and employ microdata on US manufacturing plants' shipments and factor inputs to quantify the two mechanisms' roles in quality specialization across US cities. Home-market demand explains as much of the relationship between income and quality as differences in factor usage.

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Last Updated: Dec 10, 2015

The Macro, Trade, and Finance Seminar Series is a weekly series hosted by the World Bank's research department. The series invites leading researchers from the fields of macroeconomics, growth, trade, international integration, and finance to present the results of their most recent research in a seminar format. The full list of seminars can be viewed here.

Last Updated: Jul 27, 2015

Event Details
  • Date: December 17, 2015
  • Location: MC4-100
  • Time: 12:30 - 2:00 PM
  • CONTACT: Shweta Mesipam
  • smesipam@worldbank.org



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