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Abstract

We explore whether the global …nancial crisis has had heterogeneous e¤ects on traded goods di¤erentiated by quality. Combining a dataset of Argentinean …rm-level destination-speci…c wine exports with quality ratings, we show that higher quality exports grew faster before the crisis, but this trend reversed during the recession. Quantitatively, the e¤ect is large: up to nine percentage points di¤erence in trade performance can be explained by the quality composition of exports. This ‡ight from quality was triggered by a fall in aggregate demand, was more acute when households could substitute imports by domestic alternatives, and was stronger for smaller …rms’ exports.

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