• Table of contents
  • 1. The necessity to compete in quality 1
  • 2. Quality: definitions and main indicators chosen 4
  • 2.1. Quality and its links to competitiveness 4
  • 2.2 Link to competitiveness 6
  • 2.3 The three main indicators for quality 7
  • 3. Europe as provider of quality: a contested quality premium 11
  • 3.1. The unit value as an indicator of quality 11
  • 3.2. Unit values differ widely across Europe 11
  • 3.3. The quality premium in European exports 16
  • 3.4 Relation to other indicators (GDP per capita) 18
  • 4. The importance of quality for specific industries 19
  • 4.1. Quality as an exogenous characteristic and strategic result 19
  • 4.3 Industry characteristics related to the importance of the quality mode 23
  • 4.4 Europe's trade surplus comes from quality sensitive industries 25
  • 5. Specialisation of countries in quality segments 27
  • 5.1.Upgrading quality within industries 27
  • 5.2 Export specialisation for countries in price segment 28
  • 5.3 Climbing up the quality ladder 30
  • 5.4 Country specific specialisation in high price segments 31
  • 6. Towards a better understanding of competition in quality 34
  • 6.1 Quality and strategy 34
  • 6.2 Country characteristics influence quality position 38
  • 6.3 Comparing Europe to the USA and Japan 39
  • 7. A monitoring system for quality upgrading 42
  • 8. Summary: Europe as a contested provider of quality 46
  • Annex 1: Abbreviations used 52
  • Annex 2: Industries with top and low importance of quality 53
  • References 54