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Do Standards Improve the Quality of Traded Products?

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  • Anne-Célia Disdier
  • Carl Gaigné
  • Cristina Herghelegiu

Abstract

We examine whether standards raise the quality of traded products by correcting market failures associated with information asymmetry on product attributes. Our predictions on their quality and selection effects are based on a new trade model under uncertainty about product quality in which heterogeneous firms can strategically invest in quality signaling. Using French firm-level data, we exploit information on prices and productivity toestimate the quality of exported products. Higher quality is assigned to products supplied by an exporter with higher marginal costs conditional on productivity. In accordance with our theory, quality standards enforced on products by destination countries (i) reduce the export probability of low-quality firms but also that of high-quality low-productivity firms; (ii) increase the export participation and sales of high-productivity high-quality firms; (iii) improve the average quality of consumption goods exported by France.

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  • 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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    2. 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.
    3. Duc Anh Dang & Vuong Anh Dang, 2021. "The Effects of SPSs and TBTs on Innovation: Evidence from Exporting Firms in Viet Nam," Working Papers DP-2021-16, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    4. Traoré, Ousmane Z & Tamini, Lota D., 2020. "The Net Effect of the Technical Non-Tariff Measures in OECD countries on African Exports of Plant Products," 2020 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, Kansas City, Missouri 304460, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Doan Thi Thanh Ha & Hongyong Zhang, 2022. "Technical Barriers to Trade, Product Quality and Trade Margins: Firm-level Evidence," Working Papers DP-2021-54, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    6. Nabeshima, Kaoru & Obashi, Ayako & Kim, Kunhyui, 2021. "Impacts of additional compliance requirements of regulations on the margins of trade," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).
    7. Kan Yue, 2022. "Non‐tariff measures, product quality and import demand," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 60(2), pages 870-900, April.
    8. Beguin, Malo, 2021. "Harmonization, Mutual Recognition or National Treatment: a Melitz approach," LIDAM Discussion Papers LFIN 2021010, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain Finance (LFIN).
    9. Macedoni, Luca & Weinberger, Ariel, 2022. "Quality heterogeneity and misallocation: The welfare benefits of raising your standards," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    10. Payam Elhami & Mahdi Ghodsi & Robert Stehrer, 2021. "Quality of Goods Imports: Which Role for Non-tariff Measures?," wiiw Policy Notes 46, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm exports; quality standards; information asymmetry; product quality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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