Rational Incompatibility with International Product Standards

International product standardization enables traditional, price-based competition. But the existence of redesign costs or network effects creates market frictions that diminish the incentive to standardize if there already exists a different technology in an established market. This leads to multi-attribute competition between products and will generally reduce trade flows. Not only do incumbent firms using a different technology have an incentive to deviate from an international standard, but a host country government concerned for its consumers’ welfare has no incentive to enforce the international standard and may even value deviation from the international standard through technical barriers to trade.



Additional information:

Classification:Publications with Economic / Trade Focus
AuthorsChristopher B. Barrett (Cornell University, USA), Yi Nung Yang (Chung Yuan Christian University, Taiwan)
Other bibliographical information:Journal of International Economics, Vol. 54, No. 1, Pp. 171-191, June 2001.