Certification programs and north-south trade
This paper studies how the voluntary standards established by certification programs affect consumer welfare and international trade in an open world economy. I develop a two-country model with differentiated products and imperfectly-informed consumers. Consumers in both countries value the quality of goods, but cannot discern their quality unless they are certified. Firms in each country differ in their abilities to produce quality, and the distribution of technological ability is superior in the home country. I first consider the circumstance in which the home country's government unilaterally administers a certification program. I show that the home country's terms of trade are increasing in the standard. It follows that the standard chosen by the home country is protectionist in the sense that it is greater than the standard that would be chosen by a world welfare maximizing authority. Also, the volume of trade is lower under the home country's program than if the standard were chosen by a world authority. The volume of trade and foreign welfare, however, are greater under the home country's program than if there is no certification program at all. Next, I consider the case where a certification program is administered by each country, and standards are set non-cooperatively. I show that the home and foreign country standards are strategic complements. The paper concludes with a discussion of the global inefficiencies that result from the non-cooperative setting of voluntary standards and their policy implications.
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): 108 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578|
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2005. "A simple model of firm heterogeneity, international trade, and wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-20, January.
- Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-959, December.
- Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977.
"Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
- Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
- repec:hhs:iuiwop:547 is not listed on IDEAS
- Ronald Fischer & Pablo Serra, 1998.
"Standards and Protection,"
Documentos de Trabajo
45, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
- Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716.
- Melitz, Marc J, 2002.
"The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
- Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 2007. "Selection, Growth, and the Size Distribution of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1103-1144.
- Maskus, Keith E. & Otsuki, Tsunehiro & Wilson, John S., 2005. "The cost of compliance with product standards for firms in developing countries: an econometric study," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3590, The World Bank.
- Mattias Ganslandt & James R. Markusen, 2001. "Standards and Related Regulations in International Trade: A Modeling Approach," NBER Working Papers 8346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ganslandt, Mattias & Markusen, James R., 2001. "National Standards and International Trade," Working Paper Series 547, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:108:y:2013:i:c:p:90-104. 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: (Dana Niculescu)
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.