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Product standards, trade disputes, and protectionism

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  • Daniel Sturm

Abstract

Disputes over national product standards are a major source of tension in international trade negotiations. The usual pattern is that exporters challenge new product standards as a `disguised barrier to trade.' The paper develops a two-country political agency model of standard setting. It is shown that there exists a political equilibrium in which the importing country on average applies a more stringent standard than the exporting country. This difference can be due either to a too lax standard in the exporting country or a too stringent standard in the importing country.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Sturm, 2006. "Product standards, trade disputes, and protectionism," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(2), pages 564-581, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:39:y:2006:i:2:p:564-581
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stephen Nickell & Patricia Jones & Glenda Quintini, 2002. "A Picture of Job Insecurity Facing British Men," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 1-27, January.
    2. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1995. "Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 769-798.
    3. Burgess, Simon & Turon, Helene, 2000. "Unemployment dynamics, duration and equilibrium: evidence from Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20162, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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    Cited by:

    1. Costinot, Arnaud, 2008. "A comparative institutional analysis of agreements on product standards," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 197-213, May.
    2. Mina Baliamoune-Lutz & Stefan Lutz, 2010. "Pre-emption, Predation, and Minimum Quality Standards," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(1), pages 111-123.
    3. T.Huw Edwards, 2009. "Regulatory Protection When Firms Move First," Discussion Paper Series 2009_19, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Nov 2009.
    4. Stéphan Marette & John Beghin, 2017. "Are Standards Always Protectionist?," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Nontariff Measures and International Trade, chapter 11, pages 179-192 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Swinnen, Johan F.M. & Vandemoortele, Thijs, 2009. "Trade, Development, and the Political Economy of Public Standards," 113th Seminar, September 3-6, 2009, Chania, Crete, Greece 58139, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Cai, Dapeng & Jørgensen, Jan Guldager, 2017. "Mutual Recognition for Sale: International Bargaining over Product Standards," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 1/2017, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics.
    7. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Giovanni Maggi, 2003. "International agreements on product standard: an incomplete contracting theory," NBER Working Papers 9533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Beverelli, Cosimo & Boffa, Mauro & Keck, Alexander, 2014. "Trade policy substitution: Theory and evidence from Specific Trade Concerns," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2014-18, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    9. Huw Edwards & Joanna Poyago-Theotoky, 2013. "Regulatory Protection When Firms Decide First on Technical Collaboration and R&D," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(4), pages 750-764, September.
    10. Jackson, Lee Ann & Jansen, Marion, 2010. "Risk assessment in the international food safety policy arena. Can the multilateral institutions encourage unbiased outcomes?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 538-547, December.
    11. Sturm, Daniel & Ulph, Alistair, 2002. "Environment, trade, political economy and imperfect information: a survey," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0204, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    12. Vigani, Mauro & Olper, Alessandro, 2013. "GMO standards, endogenous policy and the market for information," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 32-43.
    13. Sturm, Daniel & Ulph, Alistair, 2002. "Environment, trade, political economy and imperfect information: a survey," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 204, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    14. Kareem, Fatima Olanike & Martinez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada & Brümmer, Bernhard, 2016. "Protecting Health or Protecting Imports? Evidence from EU Non-Tariff Barriers," Discussion Papers 241267, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    15. Robert Grundke & Christoph Moser, 2014. "Hidden Protectionism? Evidence from Non-tariff Barriers to Trade in the United States," CESifo Working Paper Series 5142, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Gaigné, Carl & Larue, Bruno, 2013. "Quality Standards, International Trade and the Evolution of Industries," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150469, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    17. Jørgensen, Jan Guldager & Schröder, Philipp J.H., 2014. "Harmonization versus Mutual Recognition: Some pitfalls for the coordination of product standards under imperfect competition," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 23/2014, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics.
    18. Kawahara, Shinya, 2011. "Electoral competition with environmental policy as a second best transfer," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 477-495, September.
    19. repec:eee:reveco:v:53:y:2018:i:c:p:185-202 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Jackson, Lee Ann & Jansen, Marion, 2009. "Risk assessment in the international food safety policy arena: Can the multilateral institutions encourage unbiased outcomes?," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2009-01, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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