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The (lack of) international harmonization of EU standards: import and export effects in developed versus developing countries

Daniele Curzi, Marsela Luarasi, Valentina Raimondi and Alessandro Olper

Applied Economics Letters, 2018, vol. 25, issue 21, 1552-1556

Abstract: This article studies the effect of the lack of international harmonization in agri-food standards on international trade flows focusing on the European Union (EU). The EU is characterized by high level of protectionism, which makes it an ideal case study. We measure the differences in countries’ level of ‘protectionism’ by applying an index of aggregation of non-tariff measures to data on maximum residue levels on pesticides and veterinary drugs allowed by countries on agri-food products. The restrictiveness of countries standards’ is compared with the one imposed by the Codex Alimentarius, which is considered as non-protectionist. The EU emerges as the most rigorous standards setter. The higher standards imposed by the EU affect in particular imports from developing countries, while it facilitates its exports, irrespective of the level of development and standard restrictiveness set by the importing countries.

Date: 2018
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