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Trade-Inducing Quality Standards for Used Durables


  • Sofronis Clerides
  • Costas Hadjiyiannis


We construct a theoretical framework to study the impact of asymmetric quality standards on used durable goods on trade flows, profits and consumer welfare. We show that asymmetry in quality standards generates trade in used goods from high to low standard countries while at the same time reducing trade in new goods. The industry in the exporting country benefits from this change while consumers lose out. Consumers in the importing country are the biggest beneficiaries, but domestic industry is hurt. These results suggest that quality standards on used goods are a powerful policy tool whose use should be monitored by the WTO.

Suggested Citation

  • Sofronis Clerides & Costas Hadjiyiannis, 2004. "Trade-Inducing Quality Standards for Used Durables," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 5-2004, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucy:cypeua:5-2004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Leland, Hayne E, 1979. "Quacks, Lemons, and Licensing: A Theory of Minimum Quality Standards," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1328-1346, December.
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    3. Bond, Eric W, 1983. "Trade in Used Equipment with Heterogeneous Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 688-705, August.
    4. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2004. "Trade, Growth, and the Environment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 7-71, March.
    5. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    6. Michael Waldman, 2003. "Durable Goods Theory for Real World Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 131-154, Winter.
    7. Danilo Pelletiere & Kenneth A. Reinart, 2002. "The Political Economy of Used Automobile Protection in Latin America," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(7), pages 1019-1037, July.
    8. Goering, Gregory E & Pippenger, Michael K, 2000. "International Trade and Commercial Policy for Durable Goods," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 275-294, May.
    9. Clerides, Sofronis, 2008. "Gains from trade in used goods: Evidence from automobiles," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 322-336, December.
    10. Garth Frazer, 2008. "Used-Clothing Donations and Apparel Production in Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1764-1784, October.
    11. Grubel, Herbert G., 1980. "International trade in used cars and problems of economic development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 8(10), pages 781-788, October.
    12. Frank Verboven, 1996. "International Price Discrimination in the European Car Market," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 240-268, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Birg, Laura & Voßwinkel, Jan S., 2015. "Minimum quality standards and exports," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 248, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    2. Sofronis Clerides, 2004. "Gains from Trade in Used Goods: Evidence from the Global Market for Automobiles," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 6-2004, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    quality standards; durable goods; used durables; trade in used goods;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General


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