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North South Trade and Supervision of the Social Quality of Goods from the South


  • Jean-Marie Cardebat
  • Patrice Cassagnard


This text presents a duopolistic North/South model where the Southern firm can choose to produce ethically or not and to lie or not about the real social quality of its production. The goods from the South are assumed to be ethically unsound (i.e. dubious social content) while those from the North ethically sound. We then study the consequences of monitoring ethics in the North on the nature (fair or unfair) and the volume of North-South trade. On the one hand, an increase in the probability of inspection of goods from the South leads to an increase in imports to the North from the South. This result goes against the idea that this kind of social monitoring is akin to a protectionist measure. On the other hand, if monitoring is large enough that leads the Southern firm to produce ethically and the trade to be fair. Copyright © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Marie Cardebat & Patrice Cassagnard, 2010. "North South Trade and Supervision of the Social Quality of Goods from the South," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 168-178, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:18:y:2010:i:1:p:168-178

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jai S. Mah, 1997. "Core Labour Standards and Export Performance in Developing Countries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(6), pages 773-785, September.
    2. Busse, Matthias, 2002. "Do Labor Standards Affect Comparative Advantage in Developing Countries?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 1921-1932, November.
    3. Darby, Michael R & Karni, Edi, 1973. "Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-88, April.
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    5. Kucera, David. & Sarn, Ritash., 2004. "How do trade union rights affect trade competitiveness?," ILO Working Papers 993693003402676, International Labour Organization.
    6. Cees van Beers, 1998. "Labour Standards and Trade Flows of OECD Countries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 57-73, January.
    7. Uri Ronnen, 1991. "Minimum Quality Standards, Fixed Costs, and Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(4), pages 490-504, Winter.
    8. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition Through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13.
    9. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    10. Bruce A. Blonigen & Wesley W. Wilson, 1999. "Explaining Armington: What Determines Substitutability Between Home and Foreign Goods?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(1), pages 1-21, February.
    11. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
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    13. Brown, Andrew G. & Stern, Robert M., 2008. "What are the issues in using trade agreements to improve international labor standards?," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 331-357, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Patrice CASSAGNARD, 2009. "Antidumping, Social Quality of Goods and Smear Campaign," Working Papers 10, CATT - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, revised Nov 2009.
    2. Okimoto, Madoka, 2015. "International price competition among food industries: The role of income, population and biased consumer preference," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 327-339.

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