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Product Standards and Margins of Trade: Firm Level Evidence

  • Lionel Fontagné
  • Gianluca Orefice
  • Roberta Piermartini
  • Nadia Rocha

This paper analyses the trade effects of restrictive product standards on the margins of trade for a large panel of French firms. To focus on restrictive product standards only, we use a new database compiling the list of measures that have been raised as concerns in dedicated committees of the WTO. We restrict our analysis to the subset of Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) regulatory measures and analyse the effects of product standards on three variables: (i) probability to export and to exit the export market (firm-product extensive margins), (ii) value exported (firm-product intensive margin) and (iii) export prices. In particular we study whether firms size, market shares and export orientation modify the effect of SPS measures. We find that SPS measures discourage exports. We also find a negative effect of SPS imposition on the intensive margins of trade. Finally, the negative effects of SPS measures on the extensive and intensive margins of trade are attenuated for big firms.

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Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2013-06.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2013-06
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  1. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
  2. Chen, Maggie Xiaoyang & Otsuki, Tsunehiro & Wilson, John S., 2006. "Do standards matter for export success ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3809, The World Bank.
  3. Soledad Zignago & Thierry Mayer, 2005. "Market Access in Global and Regional Trade," Sciences Po publications 2005-02, Sciences Po.
  4. Anne-Célia Disdier & Lionel Fontagné & Mondher Mimouni, 2008. "The Impact of Regulations on Agricultural Trade: Evidence from the SPS and TBT Agreements," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(2), pages 336-350.
  5. Lionel Fontagné & Friedrich von Kirchbach & Mondher Mimouni, 2005. "An Assessment of Environmentally- related Non-tariff Measures," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(10), pages 1417-1439, October.
  6. 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.
  7. Reyes, Jose-Daniel, 2011. "International harmonization of product standards and firm heterogeneity in international trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5677, The World Bank.
  8. Krishna, Kala, 1989. "Trade restrictions as facilitating practices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 251-270, May.
  9. Kee, Hiau Looi & Nicita, Alessandro & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2006. "Estimating Trade Restrictiveness Indices," CEPR Discussion Papers 5576, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-21, September.
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