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Help or hindrance ? the impact of harmonized standards on african exports

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Author Info

  • Czubala, Witold
  • Shepherd, Ben
  • Wilson, John S.

Abstract

The authors test the hypothesis that product standards harmonized to de facto international standards are less trade restrictive than ones that are not. To do this, the authors construct a new database of European Union (EU) product standards. The authors identify standards that are aligned with ISO standards (as a proxy for de facto international norms). The authors use a sample-selection gravity model to examine the impact of EU standards on African textiles and clothing exports, a sector of particular development interest. The authors find robust evidence that non-harmonized standards reduce African exports of these products. EU standards which are harmonized to ISO standards are less trade restricting. Our results suggest that efforts to promote African exports of manufactures may need to be complemented by measures to reduce the cost impacts of product standards, including international harmonization. In addition, efforts to harmonize national standards with international norms, including through the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, promise concrete benefits through trade expansion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4400.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4400

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Related research

Keywords: Information Security&Privacy; Standards and Technical Regulations; Science Education; Scientific Research&Science Parks; Information and Records Management;

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Cited by:
  1. Bo Xiong & John C. Beghin, 2013. "Disentangling Demand-Enhancing and Trade-Cost Effects of Maximum Residue Regulations," Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) Publications 13-wp544, Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at Iowa State University.
  2. Portugal-Perez, Alberto & Wilson, John S., 2009. "Why trade facilitation matters to Africa," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(03), pages 379-416, July.
  3. Chauffour, Jean-Pierre & Maur, Jean-Christophe, 2010. "Beyond market access : the new normal of preferential trade agreements," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5454, The World Bank.
  4. Xiong, Bo & Beghin, John C., 2012. "Stringent Maximum Residue Limits, Protectionism, and Competitiveness: The Cases of the US and Canada," Staff General Research Papers 35584, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Natalie Chen & Dennis Novy, 2012. "On the measurement of trade costs: direct vs. indirect approaches to quantifying standards and technical regulations," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51509, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. van Tongeren, Frank & Beghin, John C. & Marette, Stephan, 2009. "A Cost-Benefit Framework for the Assessment of Non-Tariff Measures in Agro-Food Trade," Staff General Research Papers 13146, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Mangelsdorf, Axel & Portugal-Perez, Alberto & Wilson, John S., 2012. "Food standards and exports : evidence from China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5976, The World Bank.
  8. Borchert, Ingo & Gootiiz, Batshur & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2012. "Policy barriers to international trade in services : evidence from a new database," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6109, The World Bank.
  9. Xiong, Bo & Beghin, John C., 2011. "Disentangling the Demand-enhancing Effect and Trade-cost Effect of Technical Measures in Agricultural Trade among OECD countries," Proceedings Issues, 2011: Agricultural Price Volatility, Trade Policy and Food Security in Developing Countries, December 2011, St. Petersburg, FL 116898, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
  10. Reyes, Jose-Daniel, 2011. "International harmonization of product standards and firm heterogeneity in international trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5677, The World Bank.
  11. Honda, Keiichiro, 2012. "The effect of EU environmental regulation on international trade : restriction of hazardous substance as a trade barrier," IDE Discussion Papers 341, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  12. Wilson, Norbert L.W. & Bray, Victoria, 2010. "It Happened All at Once: Switching Regressions, Gravity Models and Food Safety," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61825, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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