1887

WTO Working Papers

WTO working papers usually represent research in progress. Such research may be conducted in the preparation of WTO Secretariat reports, studies or other material for WTO members. The papers are circulated for comment because the WTO considers critical review of professional research to be extremely important.

English

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. 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. 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. 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.

English

Keywords: multi-product exporters, non-tariff barriers, International trade, firm heterogeneity
JEL: F15: International Economics / Trade / Economic Integration; F12: International Economics / Trade / Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
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