We explore the contribution of product-quality upgrading to the export performance of six fast-growing Asian economies: China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, and Thailand. We focus on measuring the impact of quality upgrading on the changes in these countries’ sectoral export shares during 1970–2010. We build a multisector Ricardian trade model which allows for changes in product quality, and calibrate it to generate predictions about export volumes. Unlike previous literature, our approach allows estimation without employing domestic production data. Our results point to quality upgrading being a key driver of export shares.

Read this working paper in full: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=48796

IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management. For a full list of IMF Publications visit: https://www.imf.org/en/Publications