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Private Food Standards and Firm-Level Trade Effects: A Dynamic Analysis of the Peruvian Asparagus Export Sector

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  • Schuster, Monica
  • Maertens, Miet

Abstract

Private standards are increasingly governing international food trade, but little is known about the implications for developing countries. The objective of the study is to provide evidence in the ongoing debate on standards as barrier or catalyst for developing countries’ export. We use the Peruvian fresh asparagus export sector as a case study and provide empirical panel data evidence on the effects of certification to private food standards on export volumes of firms. Our dataset on the transactions of 567 export firms from 1993 to 2011 allows us to take export dynamics and time trends into account, as well as to keep country and sector specific effects constant. In our empirical strategy, we first use simple OLS and ignore firm-specific unobservable effects and dynamic export patterns. We then account for export persistence, as well as company fixed effects and finally, use System-GMM estimators to address potential reversed causality issues. These approaches represent substantial methodological improvements compared with previous studies on the trade effects of private standards. The empirical innovation is crucial for accurate impact estimation, as results indicate that certification to standards has a positive effect on the export volumes of companies, but that the significant effect dwindles as soon as unobserved firm heterogeneity and export persistency are properly controlled for. Additional studies with large data availabilities are needed to further disentangle the effect and confirm the case study results.

Suggested Citation

  • Schuster, Monica & Maertens, Miet, 2012. "Private Food Standards and Firm-Level Trade Effects: A Dynamic Analysis of the Peruvian Asparagus Export Sector," Working Papers 146521, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centre for Agricultural and Food Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:kucawp:146521
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Schuster, Monica & Maertens, Miet, 2013. "Food Standards, Heterogeneous Firms and Developing Countries’ Export Performance," Working Papers 152084, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centre for Agricultural and Food Economics.
    2. John C. Beghin & Miet Maertens & Johan Swinnen, 2017. "Nontariff Measures and Standards in Trade and Global Value Chains," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Nontariff Measures and International Trade, chapter 2, pages 13-38 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Schuster, Monica & Maertens, Miet, 2013. "Do private standards create exclusive supply chains? New evidence from the Peruvian asparagus export sector," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 291-305.
    4. Maertens, Miet & Swinnen, Johan, 2015. "Agricultural trade and development: A value chain perspective," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2015-04, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Horticultural exports; Private standards; Trade effects; Developing countries; Dynamic panel; Agribusiness; Agricultural and Food Policy; International Relations/Trade; C23; F13; L15; O13; Q17;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade

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