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Do Standards Improve the Quality of Traded Products?

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  • Disdier, Anne-Célia
  • Gaigné, Carl
  • Herghelegiu, Cristina

Abstract

Quality-focused non-tariff measures are increasingly adopted by policy makers to address market failures. This paper tests for their selection and quality effects in a context of information asymmetry regarding product attributes. Our theory reveals that the enforcement of quality standards (QSs) induces the exit of low-quality firms but also that of some high-quality ones. The overall quality effect is therefore ambiguous. Using French firm data, we find that the QSs imposed by destination countries increase the probability, volume and value of exports of high-productivity medium-quality firms at the expense of low-productivity high-quality firms. QSs improve the average quality of exported consumption goods.

Suggested Citation

  • Disdier, Anne-Célia & Gaigné, Carl & Herghelegiu, Cristina, 2018. "Do Standards Improve the Quality of Traded Products?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1808, CEPREMAP.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpm:docweb:1808
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Christopher Beghin & Anne-Célia Disdier & Stéphan Marette, 2017. "Trade restrictiveness indices in the presence of externalities: An application to non-tariff measures," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Nontariff Measures and International Trade, chapter 5, pages 81-104 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    4. Amit K. Khandelwal & Peter K. Schott & Shang-Jin Wei, 2013. "Trade Liberalization and Embedded Institutional Reform: Evidence from Chinese Exporters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2169-2195, October.
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    7. Genesove, David, 1993. "Adverse Selection in the Wholesale Used Car Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 644-665, August.
    8. Carl Shapiro, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-679.
    9. Fernandes,Ana Margarida & Ferro,Esteban & Wilson,John S. & Fernandes,Ana Margarida & Ferro,Esteban & Wilson,John S., 2015. "Product standards and firms? export decisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7315, The World Bank.
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