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Product Standards and Margins of Trade: Firm Level Evidence

This paper analyses the trade effects of restrictive product standards on the margins of trade for a large panel of French firms. To focus on restrictive product standards only, we use a new database compiling the list of measures that have been raised as concerns in dedicated committees of the WTO.

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We restrict our analysis to the subset of Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) regulatory measures and analyse the effects of product standards on three variables: (i) probability to export and to exit the export market (firm-product extensive margins), (ii) value exported (firm-product intensive margin) and (iii) export prices. In particular we study whether firms size, market shares and export orientation modify the effect of SPS measures. We find that SPS measures discourage exports. We also find a negative effect of SPS imposition on the intensive margins of trade. Finally, the negative effects of SPS measures on the extensive and intensive margins of trade are attenuated for big firms.

No: ERSD-2013-04


Lionel Fontagné Paris School of Economics (Université Paris I), Gianluca Orefice CEPII, Paris, Roberta Piermartini World Trade Organization, Nadia Rocha World Trade Organization

Manuscript date: March 2013

Key Words:

International trade, firm heterogeneity, multi-product exporters, non-tariff barriers

JEL classification numbers:

F12, F15

Disclaimer  back to top

This is a working paper, and hence it represents research in progress. This paper represents the opinions of the author, and is the product of professional research. It is not meant to represent the position or opinions of the WTO or its Members, nor the official position of any staff members. Any errors are the fault of the author. Copies of working papers can be requested from the divisional secretariat by writing to: Economic Research and Statistics Division, World Trade Organization, Rue de Lausanne 154, CH 1211 Geneva 21, Switzerland. Please request papers by number and title.

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