- This paper constructs a quality ladders product cycle model with multiple quality levels. A lower quality level of each product sells due to differences in willingness to pay for quality across consumers. The model determines how far Southern firms penetrate high-technology product markets. Expanded resources or weakened protection of intellectual property rights in the South relative to the North lead to increased Southern market penetration as observed with East Asian countries. Either cause of increased Southern market penetration implies a reduction in the wage in the North relative to the South and a reduction in the rate of innovation.