This book provides a comprehensive overview of the important topic of standards, which remains a vastly underresearched field of empirical inquiry. It presents a variety of interesting empirical analyses which reveal the driving forces and the economic impacts of standardization in both the manufacturing and the service sectors.
The author begins by providing a detailed outline of the various types of standards and their possible economic impacts. Before providing empirical validation of the theoretical arguments, he discusses the influence of standards within the regulatory system. Among the other actors in the standardization process, the author focuses in particular on the role of the firm, which acts as the main impetus for the development and implementation of new standards. He also examines the fundamental link between technical change and standardization, to assess whether this relationship is a virtuous or vicious cycle. In this context, the impact of intellectual property rights within standardization is also highlighted. Other significant aspects are the consequences of standards for trade and their role in fostering or inhibiting international trade flows. Finally, the author investigates the effect on macroeconomic growth where, especially in the new economy, formal standards are a crucial source of codified and publicly available knowledge.The analysis is based on extensive microeconomic, sectoral and macroeconomic data, which allows the author to compare the various economic impacts of standards and derive important policy conclusions.