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Do Standards Improve the Quality of Traded Products?

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  • Anne-Célia Disdier
  • Carl Gaigné
  • Cristina Herghelegiu

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 lowquality 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 highquality firms. QSs improve the average quality of exported consumption goods.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne-Célia Disdier & Carl Gaigné & Cristina Herghelegiu, 2018. "Do Standards Improve the Quality of Traded Products?," Working Papers ECARES 2018-38, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/279619
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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..
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Bond, Eric W, 1982. "A Direct Test of the "Lemons" Model: The Market for Used Pickup Trucks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 836-840, September.
    5. Andriamananjara, Soamiely & Dean, Judith M. & Feinberg, Robert & Ferrantino, Michael J. & Ludema, Rodney & Tsigas, Marinos E., 2004. "The Effects of Non-Tariff Measures on Prices, Trade, and Welfare: CGE Implementation of Policy-Based Price Comparisons," Working Papers 15863, United States International Trade Commission, Office of Economics.
    6. Engers, Maxim & Hartmann, Monica & Stern, Steven, 2009. "Are lemons really hot potatoes?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 250-263, March.
    7. Sergio Correia, 2014. "REGHDFE: Stata module to perform linear or instrumental-variable regression absorbing any number of high-dimensional fixed effects," Statistical Software Components S457874, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 10 Mar 2019.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
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    Keywords

    Firm exports; quality standards; information asymmetry; product quality;

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