Do National Standards Hinder or Promote Trade in Electrical products?

This paper estimates the effect of national and internationally harmonized standards on trade-flows of products that depend on electricity. It does so in two steps. First it identifies the effect of basic electricity specifications (voltage, hertz and different plug types) across countries on trade flows in goods that depend on electricity. Then it repeats the exercise for all standards relevant for those goods for a subset of countries. It delivers three major results: First, both national and international standardization promote trade flows in electricity dependent products. Electricity dependent products generally benefit more from standardization than manufactured products on average. Second, national standardization dominates international harmonization of standards in their importance for trade in electricity dependent products. Finally, country-size of both the importing and exporting country matters: Smaller countries benefit more from international harmonization, identifying fixed product adaptation costs as a likely determinant of the results.

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Published:2006
Classification:Electronics and Electrical
AuthorsJohannes Moenius (University of Redlands, USA)
ISSN/ISBN:2-8318-8867-0
Other bibliographical information:International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)