The Value of Trademarks: Micro Evidence from Chinese Exports to Africa

This paper studies trademarks in developing countries. I introduce a trademark as a signalling device used to mitigate information frictions in a general equilibrium setting with firm heterogeneity. In my model, highly productive firms are more likely to use a trademark since the revenue increase outweighs the trademark cost only for these firms. This induces reallocation away from less productive firms. I test my predictions using Chinese exports to Africa in the tire industry. I exploit a sudden change in the member countries ratifying an international trademark agreement. My empirical findings support my predictions. At the extensive margin, a Chinese exporter decreases the probability of exporting to the ratifying countries. On the intensive margin, a large exporter earns more by using a trademark while a small exporter does not use a trademark and its market size shrinks. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests welfare increases by 0.19% in Africa from the use of trademarks in the ratifying countries’ tyre industries.


Yusuke Kuroishi is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Economics at the London School of Economics (LSE). He received his B.A. and M.A. in Economics from the University of Tokyo, and MRes in Economics from LSE. He seeks to understand the connection between local institutions and international trade in developing countries. Currently, he is working on how intellectual property rights affect Chinese exporters in Africa.

Speaker(s) Mr Yusuke KUROISHI
PhD Candidate, Department of Economics, LSE
Date 21 Jan 2021 (Thursday)
Time 12:00 noon
Venue Online via Zoom (link will be sent via email)

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