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Do standards matter for export success ?

Author

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  • Chen, Maggie Xiaoyang
  • Otsuki, Tsunehiro
  • Wilson, John S.

Abstract

Standards and technical regulations are an increasingly prominent part of the international trade policy debate. In particular, there has been considerable discussion of whether standards and regulations affect trade costs and export prospects for developing countries. In this paper the authors examine how meeting foreign standards affects firms'export performance, reflected in export propensity and market diversification. The analysis draws on the World Bank Technical Barriers to Trade Survey database of 619 firms in 17 developing countries. The results indicate that technical regulations in industrial countries adversely affect firms'propensity to export in developing countries. In particular, testing procedures and lengthy inspection procedures reduce exports by 9 percent and 3percent, respectively. Furthermore, in the model, the difference in standards across foreign countries causes diseconomy of scale for firms and affects decisions about whether to enter export markets. The empirical analysis presented here implies that standards impede exporters'market entry, reducing the likelihood of exporting to more than three markets by 7 percent. In addition, the authors find that firms that outsource components are more challenged by compliance with multiple standards.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Maggie Xiaoyang & Otsuki, Tsunehiro & Wilson, John S., 2006. "Do standards matter for export success ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3809, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3809
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aitken, Brian & Hanson, Gordon H. & Harrison, Ann E., 1997. "Spillovers, foreign investment, and export behavior," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1-2), pages 103-132, August.
    2. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting Trade: Firms, Industries, and Export Destinations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 150-154, May.
    3. Fischer, Ronald & Serra, Pablo, 2000. "Standards and protection," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 377-400, December.
    4. Swann, Peter & Temple, Paul & Shurmer, Mark, 1996. "Standards and Trade Performance: The UK Experience," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1297-1313, September.
    5. Maskus, Keith E. & Otsuki, Tsunehiro & Wilson, John S., 2005. "The cost of compliance with product standards for firms in developing countries: an econometric study," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3590, The World Bank.
    6. Mattias Ganslandt & James R. Markusen, 2001. "Standards and Related Regulations in International Trade: A Modeling Approach," NBER Working Papers 8346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Markets and Market Access; Small Scale Enterprise; Microfinance; Economic Theory&Research; Public Sector Regulation;

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