The cost of compliance with product standards for firms in developing countries: an econometric study
AbstractStandards and technical regulations exist to protect consumer safety or to achieve other goals, such as ensuring the interoperability of telecommunications systems, for example. Standards and technical regulations can, however, raise substantially both start-up and production costs for firms. Maskus, Otsuki, and Wilson develop econometric models to provide the first estimates of the incremental production costs for firms in developing nations in conforming to standards imposed by major importing countries. They use firm-level data generated from 16 developing countries in the World Bank Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Survey Database. Their findings indicate that standards do increase short-run production costs by requiring additional inputs of labor and capital. A 1 percent increase in investment to meet compliance costs in importing countries raises variable production costs by between 0.06 and 0.13 percent, a statistically significant increase. The authors also find that the fixed costs of compliance are nontrivial-approximately $425,000 per firm, or about 4.7 percent of value added on average. The results may be interpreted as one indication of the extent to which standards and technical regulations might constitute barriers to trade. While the relative impact on costs of compliance is relatively small, these costs can be decisive factors driving export success for companies. In this context, there is scope for considering that the costs associated with more limited exports to countries with import regulations may not conform to World Trade Organization rules encouraging harmonization of regulations to international standards, for example. Policy solutions then might be sought by identifying the extent to which subsidies or public support programs are needed to offset the cost disadvantage that arises from nonharmonized technical regulations.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3590.
Date of creation: 01 May 2005
Date of revision:
Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Health Economics&Finance; Administrative&Regulatory Law; Science Education;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2005-12-14 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2005-12-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-COM-2005-12-14 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-INT-2005-12-14 (International Trade)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Otsuki, Tsunehiro & Wilson, John S. & Sewadeh, Mirvat, 2001. "Saving two in a billion: : quantifying the trade effect of European food safety standards on African exports," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 495-514, October.
- Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1998.
"Understanding Increasing and Decreasing Wage Inequality,"
NBER Working Papers
6571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2000. "Understanding Increasing and Decreasing Wage Inequality," NBER Chapters, in: The Impact of International Trade on Wages, pages 227-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gasiorek, Michael & Smith, Alasdair & Venables, Anthony J., 1992. "`1992': Trade and Welfare; A General Equilibrium Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 672, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- James Harrigan, 1996.
"Technology, Factor Supplies and International Specialization: Estimating the Neoclassical Model,"
NBER Working Papers
5722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Harrigan, James, 1997. "Technology, Factor Supplies, and International Specialization: Estimating the Neoclassical Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 475-94, September.
- James Harrigan, 1996. "Technology, factor supplies, and international specialization: estimating the neoclassical model," Staff Reports 15, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Wilson, John S. & Tsunehiro Otsuki, 2002.
"To spray or not to spray? - pesticides, banana exports, and food safety,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2805, The World Bank.
- Wilson, John S. & Otsuki, Tsunehiro, 2004. "To spray or not to spray: pesticides, banana exports, and food safety," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 131-146, April.
- Morrison, Catherine J, 1988. "Quasi-Fixed Inputs in U.S. and Japanese Manufacturing: A Generalized Leontief Restricted Cost Function Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 275-87, May.
- Berndt, Ernst R & Wood, David O, 1975. "Technology, Prices, and the Derived Demand for Energy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(3), pages 259-68, August.
- Berndt, Ernst R. & Hesse, Dieter M., 1986. "Measuring and assessing capacity utilization in the manufacturing sectors of nine oecd countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 961-989, October.
- Maskus, Keith E. & Wilson, John S. & Tsunehiro Otsuki, 2000. "Quantifying the impact of technical barriers to trade : a framework for analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2512, The World Bank.
- Swann, Peter & Temple, Paul & Shurmer, Mark, 1996. "Standards and Trade Performance: The UK Experience," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1297-1313, September.
- Fischer, Ronald & Serra, Pablo, 2000.
"Standards and protection,"
Journal of International Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 377-400, December.
- Jones, Philip & Hudson, John, 1996. "Standardization and the costs of assessing quality," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 355-361, September.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.