Genetically Modified Food Standards as Trade Barriers: Harmonization, Compromise, and Sub-Global Agreements
GMOs have brought new concerns into an already challenged world trading system. This paper considers the jointly enodogenous formation of GMO-related standards and sub-global trading agreements. Standards are understood as tolerance levels for GMOs. Sub-global trading agreements may be either formal agreements between countries sanctioned by the WTO, or they may be implicit agreements, e.g. a developing country accepting the U.S. standards.We develop a theoretical model of standard formation and agreement formation. In autarky, national standards reflect the preferences of domestic consumers. The possibility of gains from trade encourages countries to modify their standards to facilitate trade with other countries having similar standards. Whether or not a country engages in trade depends on the magnitude and nature of the gains from trade--e.g. economies of scale, greater variety for consumers, etc.--and the degree of standard modification required for trade. If the gains from trade are sufficient, countries will compromise or harmonize standards to achieve these gains. In the case of countries of similar size (bargaining power), compromise may be feasible. In the case of countries of different size, harmonization of the smaller country's standard to that of the larger country may be more likely. The case of the European Union's de facto prohibition on trade in GMOs is represented as a case in which the gains from trade are insufficient to catalyze a compromise position. Analogously, the North American refusal to restrict or prohibit GMOs indicates that the gains from trade with Europe are insufficient to compensate for this change in standard. In the absence of a common global standard, countries with similar preferences cluster into smaller clubs to capture at least some gains from trade.
If 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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 2 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.degruyter.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jafio|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:bjafio:v:2:y:2004:i:2:n:5. See general 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: (Peter Golla)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.