DP1522 Minimum Quality Standards as Facilitating Devices: An Example with Leapfrogging and Exit

Author(s): Stefan Lutz
Publication Date: November 1996
Keyword(s): Country Asymmetries, Leapfrogging, Oligopoly, Quality, Trade, Vertical Product Differentiation
JEL(s): F12, F13, L13
Programme Areas: International Trade and Regional Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=1522

The recent extensive study of vertical product differentiation models has allowed for the analysis of international trade issues in the presence of country asymmetries in terms of product qualities, technology, costs, market size, and income. In the presence of such asymmetries, national industries will either be market leaders or be lagging behind in the international market place in terms of their product qualities. The resulting asymmetry in profits creates powerful incentives for lagging industries as well as their national governments to reverse this situation to their advantage, i.e. to induce ?leapfrogging? in terms of product qualities. This note presents an example where a minimum quality standard facilitates leapfrogging as well as exit of the foreign firm.