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

Standardization union effects: the case of EU enlargement

Listed author(s):
  • Hagemejer, Jan
  • Michalek, Jan

The analysis of trade policy shows growing interest in various types of “standards”. While technical regulations and standards are introduced to protect the interest of consumers, they can also act as technical barriers to trade (TBT), as foreign suppliers complying with national regulations might be required to bear certain costs of adjustment to the new regime. Recent literature focused on the concept of standards and concluded that shared standards promote trade. We instead set our attention to technical regulations of the European Union and concentrate on their effects on trade costs. The analysis is inspired by Gandal and Shy’s (2001) cost reducing standardization union theory. This paper summarizes results of research undertaken within a larger product assessing importance of technical barriers to trade for new EU members. The recent empirical study by Hagemejer (2005), based on detailed trade data of the EU. He has shown that in sectors where the EU technical regulations are most complicated and require costly adaptation, the trade within EU is booming. He argues that the trade between EU members is more concentrated within the high-TBT products, while the imports from outside are focused on the low-TBT or no-TBT products. Thus, EU technical regulations might in fact be trade diverting if the difference in productivity between intra and extra-EU partners is large. In this context we analyze the pattern of new members’ exports to the “old” EU. We calculate the trade coverage of various standardisation approaches and analyze the comparative advantage structure of the new EU members. We demonstrate that the structure of TBT’s affecting exports from new EU members is slowly converging with the one that characterizes intra-EU trade. Therefore, we expect that CEEC’s countries will benefit from applying common technical regulations of the EU after accession. In the last section of our paper we report the results of questionnaire-based research made among Polish companies in December of 2004, i.e. after the Eastern enlargement. It seems that the adjustment costs were moderate and the adaptation process to new technical regulations is already completed. Therefore, one can expected welfare gains for new members of the EU. We perform a CGE simulation using a GTAP model to assess these gains.

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:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 22989.

in new window

Date of creation: 2006
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:22989
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany

Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2459
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-992459
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Gandal, Neil & Shy, Oz, 2001. "Standardization policy and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 363-383, April.
  2. Paul Brenton & John Sheehy & Marc Vancauteren, 2001. "Technical Barriers to Trade in the European Union: Importance for Accession Countries," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(2), pages 265-284, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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:pra:mprapa:22989. 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: (Joachim Winter)

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.