IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Environmental and Health Protections, or New Protectionism? Determinants of SPS Notifications by WTO Members

Listed author(s):
  • Emma Aisbett
  • Lee M. Pearson

The drastic reductions in bound tariffs agreed by WTO members over the past half century have been accompanied by a substantial rise in non-tariff barriers to trade. Many commentators have drawn a causal link between these two phenomena, but there have been few attempts to empirically test this claim. This lack is particularly apparent with regard to Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, despite their increasing prevalence both in the media and in WTO disputes. SPS measures, like other health and environment regulations, ostensibly serve legitimate national policy objectives and cannot be labeled as “green” protectionism merely by considering posterior trade impacts. The determinants of these regulations matter. This paper uses members’ SPS notifications to the WTO at the product level to test the importance of negotiated tariff reductions as a driver for additional SPS regulations. By exploiting time-series, cross-country and cross-product variation in the data we confirm that decreases in bound tariff rates increase the probability of new SPS measures. The policy implications of this result are, however, tempered by our other major finding, namely, that the impact of tariff constraint on SPS notifications is minor compared to that of demographic, governance and environmental variables

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series Crawford School Research Papers with number 1213.

in new window

Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Handle: RePEc:een:crwfrp:1213
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, Building #132, Canberra ACT 2601

Phone: +61 2 6125 4705
Fax: +61 2 6125 5448
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:een:crwfrp:1213. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Stern)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.