Exporting to bypass weak institutions

Anthony Creane, Thomas D. Jeitschko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Institutions have been shown to be important for trade and growth. In particular, weak institutions may reduce the returns to product quality, harming domestic welfare and making it attractive to export to countries with strong institutions where quality is better rewarded. We model this alternative story as to why the "good apples are shipped out" and explore whether exporting ameliorates the problems created by weak institutions. We find that, instead, because home prices do not reflect the marginal value of quality, access to developed markets can be welfare reducing. Specifically, there are always export prices such that total welfare (and not just consumer welfare) is harmed by exporting. Furthermore, if the domestic price equilibrates to the export price, then the marginal unit exported reduces total welfare. Exporting can even reduce producer surplus, leading to a contraction of the export industry; although, welfare can decrease even if production of the exported good increases. Thus, our results reinforce the importance of strengthening institutions to help the development of economies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-197
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Economic Review
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V..


  • Adverse selection
  • Development
  • Institutions
  • Moral hazard
  • Quality
  • Trade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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