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Beyond the information technology agreement : harmonization of standards and trade in electronics


  • Portugal-Perez, Alberto
  • Reyes, Jose-Daniel
  • Wilson, John S.


Product standards can have a dual impact on production and trade costs. Standards may impose additional costs on exporters as it may be necessary to adapt products for specific markets (cost-effect). In contrast, standards can reduce exporters'information costs if they convey information on industrial requirements or consumer tastes that would be costly to collect in the absence of standards (informational-effect). Using a new World Bank database of European standards for electronic products, the authors examine the impact of internationally-harmonized European standards on European Union imports. They find that European Union standards for electronic products that are harmonized to international standards have a positive and significant effect on trade. The results suggest that efforts to promote trade in electronic products could be complemented by steps to promote standards harmonization. This might include, for example, re-starting talks to extend the Information Technology Agreement to non-tariff measures and commitments to harmonize national standards in electronic products.

Suggested Citation

  • Portugal-Perez, Alberto & Reyes, Jose-Daniel & Wilson, John S., 2009. "Beyond the information technology agreement : harmonization of standards and trade in electronics," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4916, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4916

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    Cited by:

    1. Shepherd, Ben & Wilson, Norbert L.W., 2013. "Product standards and developing country agricultural exports: The case of the European Union," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1-10.
    2. Vojtech Olbrecht, 2016. "Harmonised Standards and Firm Productivity: Difference-in-Differences Evidence," MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics 2016-64, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    3. Ferrantino, Michael J., 2012. "Using supply chain analysis to examine the costs of non-tariff measures (NTMs) and the benefits of trade facilitation," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2012-02, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    4. Kenji Fujiwara, 2011. "Tariffs And Trade Liberalisation With Network Externalities," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2-3), pages 51-61, September.
    5. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-17-00359 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Suchita Srinivasan, 2017. "Driven up the wall? Role of environmental regulation in innovation along the automotive global value chain," CIES Research Paper series 52-2017, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute.
    7. Reyes, Jose-Daniel, 2011. "International harmonization of product standards and firm heterogeneity in international trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5677, The World Bank.
    8. Chen, Natalie & Novy, Dennis, 2012. "On the measurement of trade costs: direct vs. indirect approaches to quantifying standards and technical regulations," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(03), pages 401-414, July.
    9. repec:bla:jcmkts:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:387-405 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Carrère, Céline & de Melo, Jaime, 2011. "Notes on Detecting The Effects of Non Tariff Measures," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 26, pages 136-168.
    11. Henn, Christian & Gnutzmann-Mkrtchyan, Arevik, 2015. "The layers of the IT Agreement's trade impact," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2015-01, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    12. Alvarez-Coque, Jose Maria & Marco, Lorena & Sleva, Maria Luisa, 2015. "Investigating differences in safety border notifications on fruita nd vegetables imports," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211645, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. Mangelsdorf, Axel & Portugal-Perez, Alberto & Wilson, John S., 2012. "Food standards and exports: evidence for China," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(03), pages 507-526, July.
    14. Kummritz,Victor & Taglioni,Daria & Winkler,Deborah Elisabeth, 2017. "Economic upgrading through global value chain participation : which policies increase the value added gains ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8007, The World Bank.
    15. Xiaohua Bao & Wei-Chih Chen, 2013. "The Impacts of Technical Barriers to Trade on Different Components of International Trade," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 447-460, August.
    16. Xiaohua Bao, 2014. "Special Issue: Issues in Asia. Guest Editor: Laixun Zhao," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 286-299, May.
    17. Anomita Ghosh & Rupayan Pal, 2014. "Strategic trade policy for network goods oligopolies," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2014-039, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    18. Hu, Cui & Lin, Faqin & Tan, Yong & Tang, Yihong, 2017. "How Exporting Firms Respond to Technical Barriers to Trade?," MPRA Paper 80946, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Kang, Jong Woo & Ramizo, Dorothea, 2017. "Impact of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Technical Barriers on International Trade," MPRA Paper 82352, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Olayinka Idowu Kareem, 2014. "The European Union Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Africa’s Exports," RSCAS Working Papers 2014/98, European University Institute.
    21. Ederington,Josh & Ruta,Michele, 2016. "Non-tariff measures and the world trading system," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7661, The World Bank.

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    Information Security&Privacy; Technology Industry; Scientific Research&Science Parks; Science Education; Labor Policies;

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