DP1106 On the Persistence of Leadership or Leapfrogging in International Trade
When two countries, starting from different quality levels reflecting different conditions of domestic market demand, open to trade, two possible equilibria arise. In the first, the quality leader maintains its position. In the second, leapfrogging occurs. The latter is possible only if the initial quality gap is not too wide, however. Further, when the risk dominance criterion is used, only the former equilibrium is selected. This result holds for both segmented and integrated markets. Qualities, profits and world welfare are higher when firms can price discriminate (i.e. under segmented markets).