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Product standards, trade disputes, and protectionism

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Abstract. 

Disputes over national product standards are a major source of tension in international trade negotiations. The usual pattern is that exporters challenge new product standards as a ‘disguised barrier to trade.’ The paper develops a two‐country political agency model of standard setting. It is shown that there exists a political equilibrium in which the importing country on average applies a more stringent standard than the exporting country. This difference can be due either to a too lax standard in the exporting country or a too stringent standard in the importing country. JEL classification: F18, F13, D72
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Economics, University of Munich

Publication date: 2006-05-01

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