nep-cna New Economics Papers
on China
Issue of 2011‒04‒02
two papers chosen by
Zheng Fang
Ohio State University

  1. Is China climbing up the quality ladder? Estimating cross country differences in product quality using Eurostat's COMEXT trade database By Gabor Pula; Daniel Santabárbara
  2. Division of Household Labor and Marital Satisfaction in China, Japan, and Korea By Oshio, Takashi; Nozaki, Kayo; Kobayashi, Miki

  1. By: Gabor Pula (European Central Bank, Kaiserstraße 29, D-60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.); Daniel Santabárbara (Banco de España and European Central Bank, Kaiserstraße 29, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.)
    Abstract: There is an ongoing debate in the literature about the quality content of Chinese exports and to what extent China imposes a threat to the market positions of advanced economies. While China’s export structure is very similar to that of the advanced world, its export unit values are well below the level of developed economies. Building on the assumption that unit values reflect quality the prevailing view of the literature is that China exports low quality varieties of the same products than its advanced competitors. This paper challenges this view by relaxing the assumption that unit values reflect quality. We derive the quality of Chinese exports to the European Union by estimating disaggregated demand functions from a discrete choice model. The paper has two major findings. First, China’s share on the European Union market is larger than would be justified by its relatively low average prices, implying that the quality of Chinese export products is relatively high compared to many competitors. Second, China has gained quality relative to other competitors since 1995, indicating that China is climbing up the quality ladder. The relatively high and improving quality of China’s exports may be explained by the increasing role of global production networks in China. JEL Classification: F1, F12, F14, F15, F23.
    Keywords: Chinese Exports, Vertical Product Differentiation, Quality Ladder, Global Production Networks, Discrete Choice Model, COMEXT database.
    Date: 2011–03
  2. By: Oshio, Takashi; Nozaki, Kayo; Kobayashi, Miki
    Abstract: In this study, we compare the association of marital satisfaction with the division of labor between husband and wife in Asia, based on Chinese, Japanese, and Korean General Social Surveys in 2006 (N = 2,346, 997, and 990, respectively). Results show that in all three countries, wives are less satisfied than husbands with marriage, mainly because wives do disproportionately more housework than husbands. Aside from this common gender difference, there are noticeable differences among the three countries. Chinese couples are relatively in favor of an egalitarian division of labor in terms of both market work and housework. Japanese couples are supportive of traditional specialization, with the wives flexibly shifting their efforts between market work and housework. Korean couples are under pressure from conflicts between the wife‘s labor force participation and the traditional division of labor in the household.
    Keywords: Division of household labor, gender difference, marital satisfaction
    Date: 2011–02

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