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Let's Try Next Door: Technical Barriers to Trade and Multi-destination Firms


  • Lionel Fontagné
  • Gianluca Orefice


Stringent Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) are expected to drive exporters out of the markets imposing these hurdles. However their impact will vary, with some exporters being able to refocus on TBT-free markets. By matching a database of TBT measures raised as concerns at the WTO (Specific Trade Concerns -- STCs), with a firm-level panel of French exporters, we show the complex effects of restrictive TBT measures on the different margins of trade. We show that the negative effect of TBT on export participation is magnified for multi-destination firms, which can divert their exports towards TBT-free destinations. Moreover, we conduct aggregate level estimations to show that the effect of stringent TBTs in reducing export flows is magnified in more homogeneous sectors. Observing the shape of the firm distribution at sectoral level and the aggregate elasticity of export to trade cost, we shed light on the fixed component of the additional cost imposed by TBTs on exporters.

Suggested Citation

  • Lionel Fontagné & Gianluca Orefice, 2016. "Let's Try Next Door: Technical Barriers to Trade and Multi-destination Firms," Working Papers 2016-18, CEPII research center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2016-18

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mahdi Ghodsi & Julia Grübler & Oliver Reiter & Robert Stehrer, 2017. "The Evolution of Non-Tariff Measures and their Diverse Effects on Trade," wiiw Research Reports 419, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    2. Lili Yan Ing & Olivier Cadot & Janine Walz, 2016. "Transparency in Non-tariff Measures: An International Comparison," Working Papers DP-2016-23, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).

    More about this item


    Non-tariff measures; TBT; Multi-destination Firms; Trade Margins;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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