The authors create a standards restrictiveness index using newly available data on maximum residue levels of pesticides for 61 importing countries. ... See More + The paper analyzes the impact that food safety standards have on international trade of agricultural products. The findings suggest that more restrictive standards are associated, on average, with a lower probability of observing trade. However, after controlling for sample selection and the proportion of exporting firms in a gravity model, the analysis finds that the effect of standards on trade intensity is indistinguishable from zero. This is consistent with the assumption that meeting stringent standards increases primarily the fixed costs of exporting. Once firms enter the market, however, standards do not impact the level of exports. The analysis also finds a greater marginal effect of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) standards on the probability of trade, relative to other countries' standards, keeping in mind however that on average BRICS standards are less restrictive. The analysis also suggests that exporters in low-income countries are more adversely affected by stricter standards. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS6518 JUN 01, 2013
Ferro, Esteban; Wilson, John S.; Otsuki, Tsunehiro
Using a new database on Chinese food standards, this paper estimates the impact of volunta-ry and mandatory standards on its agricultural and food exports. ... See More + The dataset covers seven Chinese products from 1992 to 2008. The findings here indicate that standards have a posi-tive effect on China's export performance. Standards signal to customers that products meet certain quality measures and promote information exchange. The benefits of increased ex-ports outweigh compliance costs. Our results also show that theses positive effects are larger when the standards are consistent with international norms. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS5976 FEB 01, 2012
Mangelsdorf, Axel; Portugal-Perez, Alberto; Wilson, John S.
Besides superior productivity, what other firm characteristics are associated with export success? This empirical study identifies the effects of signaling tools (foreign technical license, International Standards Organization certification, and review of financial statements) and Internet tools (email and website) on export frequency and intensity of firms in developing countries. ... See More + Using data from the World Banks Enterprise Survey, the author finds that productivity, size, foreign ownership, International Standards Organization certification, and the use of Internet tools have positive effects on the probability of exporting and on the intensive margin of trade. International Standards Organization certified firms are 22 percent more likely to be exporters, whereas firms that use their own website to communicate with clients and suppliers increase the likelihood they export by 11 percent. Among exporting firms, those that are International Standards Organization certified sell 41 percent more abroad than firms that are not certified. Firms that use email sell 31 percent more in foreign markets than exporting firms that do not. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS5547 JAN 01, 2011
Private inspection of international shipments has been used over the last half-century for a variety of purposes. These include prevention of capital flight and improvement of import duty collection, among others. ... See More + The existing literature has failed to find much impact of these inspection programs on collected tariff revenue or corruption at the border. This paper explores the "facilitation" effect of private inspection programs on trade. The results indicate that private inspection has a positive and significant trade-facilitation effect. These programs raise import volumes for countries using them by approximately 2 to 10 percent. The findings here also suggest that the benefit of private inspection of imports may be associated with reforms and best practices applied by private inspection firms. Private firms' inspection of cargo may promote faster clearance times and process reliability, rather than improved tax collection. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS5515 DEC 01, 2010
Velea, Irina; Cadot, Olivier; Wilson, John S.
Rules of origin are legitimate policy instruments to prevent trade deflection in a preferential trade agreement short of a customs union. Trade deflection takes place when a product imported into the preferential trade agreement through the member with the lowest external tariff is transhipped to a higher-tariff member, while yielding a benefit for the re-exporter. ... See More + Yet, when captured by special interest groups, rules of origin can restrict trade beyond what is needed to prevent trade deflection. By how much do political economy factors account for the stringency of rules of origin? This study quantifies the impact of both determinants - those considered "justifiable" because they prevent trade deflection and those deemed to arise from "political economy" forces - on the restrictiveness of rules of origin under the North American Free Trade Agreement, approximated by a restrictiveness index. The main finding is that political economy forces, especially from the United States, raised significantly the restrictiveness of the rules of origin. Indeed, in industries where political-economy forces were strong prior to the North American Free Trade Agreement, as when the U.S. Most Favored Nation tariff was high or the revealed comparative advantage of Mexico (the United States) was strong (weak), more stringent rules of origin were introduced. Thus, stricter rules of origin are associated with higher production costs reducing the potential benefits of enhanced market access that is initially pursued by this type of agreement. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS4848 FEB 01, 2009
This paper reviews data and research on trade costs for Sub-Saharan African countries. It focuses on: border-related costs, transport costs, costs related to behind-the border issues, and the costs of compliance with rules of origin specific to preferential trade agreements. ... See More + Trade costs are, on average, higher for African countries than for other developing countries. Using gravity-model estimates, the authors compute ad-valorem equivalents of improvements in trade indicators for a sample of African countries. The evidence suggests that the gains for African exporters from improving the trade logistics half-way to the level in South Africa is more important than a substantive cut in tariff barriers. As an example, improving logistics in Ethiopia half-way to the level in South Africa would be roughly equivalent to a 7.5 percent cut in tariffs faced by Ethiopian exporters. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS4719 SEP 01, 2008
Portugal-Perez, Alberto; Wilson, John S.
|Title||Document Date||Report No.||Document Type||Also available in|
|The effect of product standards on agricultural exports from developing countries (English) See More +||JUN 01, 2013||WPS6518||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Food standards and exports : evidence from China (English) See More +||FEB 01, 2012||WPS5976||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Signaling and technological marketing tools for exporters (English) See More +||JAN 01, 2011||WPS5547||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Do private inspection programs affect trade facilitation ? (English) See More +||DEC 01, 2010||WPS5515||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Assessing the impact of political economy factors on rules of origin under NAFTA (English) See More +||FEB 01, 2009||WPS4848||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Why trade facilitation matters to Africa ? (English) See More +||SEP 01, 2008||WPS4719||Policy Research Working Paper|