No. 0002 - Trade Reform and Quality Upgrading in South Africa: A Product-Level Analysis
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The relationship between trade liberalization and product quality is both empirically and theoretically ambiguous. This paper empirically investigates the impact of tariff liberalization on product quality upgrading in the South African manufacturing sector using highly disaggregated product-level data. The study employs panel data techniques exploiting variation at the product level using HS8 product-level data from 1988 to 2009. Tariff liberalization affects product quality through various channels such as pro-competitive, variety, or input channel effects.