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Standards in the global value chains of the European Single Market

: Blind, Knut; Mangelsdorf, Axel; Niebel, Crispin; Ramel, Florian

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Review of international political economy 25 (2018), Nr.1, S.28-48
ISSN: 0969-2290
ISSN: 1466-4526
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer FOKUS ()
single market; trade; global value chain; standard; standardization union; gravity model

We examine the impact of formal standards on trade in global value chains (GVCs) in Europe. Using a gravity model approach for panel data, we estimate the influence of national, European and international standards on trade in value-added and gross trade flows within Europe. We find that national standards on their own hamper trade in European value chains while European and international standards foster trade. European standards have greater influence on trade in inner-European value chains whereas international standards have positive effects on imports into Europe from third countries. European standards therefore reduce information asymmetries between market actors in the value chains of the European Single Market. International standards serve as a means of global communication between international trade partners. In addition, we find a positive effect of an interaction term between national and European standards in European value chains confirming the necessity of national standardization. Furthermore, we consider our findings not only within international political economy's theoretical literature regarding the governance of GVCs but also, the subsequent policy implications of our findings in terms of economic growth and development.