Countries / Territories

2016: SME Competitiveness, Standards and Regulations

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    WP-01-2016.E: ITC assessment of the technology level of exports: methodology and analytical issues [PDF]

    Sebastian Klotz
    , ITC, Geneva, Switzerland
    Dzmitry Kniahin, ITC, Geneva, Switzerland

    Short description: This paper outlines the development of the technology indicator as part of the country profiles in the SME Competitiveness Outlook 2016. First, we review four relevant technology classifications based on Broad Economic Categories, Process stages, Skill and Technology, and High-Technology levels. Next, we present an alternative quantitative methodology for assessing the technology intensity of products which builds upon Hausmann's et al. work on economic complexity. Finally, we assess the correspondence between the classifications and the quantitative results and conclude that the two approaches are complementary.

    WP-02-2016.E: Technical regulations affect exporters’ performance: firm level evidence from developing countries [PDF]

    Valentina Rollo, ITC, Geneva, Switzerland

    Short description: This paper estimates the relation between technical regulations and firms’ export dynamics using indicators from two novel datasets: the ITC NTM Business Surveys and the World Bank Exporters Dynamic Datasets. Our results indicate that export markets where technical regulations are perceived as more burdensome are characterized by: a lower number of exporters, a lower value of exports, a higher exit rate, a higher concentration rate, and a higher fob price.

    WP-03-2016.E: Impact of NTMs on SMEs in Tunisia [PDF]

    Leila Baghdadi, University of Tunis, Tunisia
    Sonia Ben Kheder, University of Tunis, Tunisia
    Hassen Arouri, National Institute of Statistics, Tunisia

    Short description: This paper analyses the overall effect of Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) on firms in Tunisia, with a particular attention paid to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Results show a positive impact of NTMs on imports, productivity, labour costs and profitability. When splitting the global sample into small, medium and large firms, estimates results exhibit a larger trade-creation effect for SMEs, while the learning by importing effect plays more efficiently for large firms.

    WP-04-2016.E: Institutional design of voluntary sustainability standards systems: Evidence from a new database [website link]

    Matteo Fiorini, European University Institute, Florence, Italy
    Bernard Hoekman, European University Institute, Florence, Italy
    Marion Jansen, ITC, Geneva, Switzerland
    Philip Schleifer, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Olga Solleder, ITC, Geneva, Switzerland
    Regina Taimasova, ITC, Geneva, Switzerland
    Joseph Wozniak, ITC, Geneva, Switzerland

    Short description:  Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) have long become a usual attribute of international production and trade. Despite the fact that VSS are not obligatory to conform with in order to be a part of global value chains, they have become de facto mandatory, and non-compliance may lead to exclusion of producers from the value chains. The relevance of VSS is reflected by a growing literature across social sciences, in particular economics and political science. This paper describes a new database that collects comparable information on 180 standards and their governance structure, across a wide range of products and countries. We conduct a first empirical analysis of this data with a primary focus on two aspects of standards and their governance: their practices and features in support of producers, and their geographic availability. We find high variability of support and availability across standards systems and countries respectively. Finally, we identify standards- and country-specific features associated with higher support to producers and higher geographic availability.

    Other versions:
    WP-04-2016.E: Exploring Voluntary Sustainability Standards using ITC Standards Map [PDF]

    WP-05-2016.E: How do NTMs affect countries’ participation in international value chains? [PDF]

    Loe Franssen, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
    Olga Solleder, ITC, Geneva, Switzerland

    Short description: This paper examines the effects of NTMs on global value chain participation, using a large cross sectional database compiled by the ITC and UNCTAD that identifies various NTMs on the product level. Surprisingly, we find evidence that NTMs on imported intermediates are positively correlated with export values of goods within the same value chain.

    WP-01-2017.E: Transparency in Transnational Sustainability Governance: A Multivariate Analysis of Regulatory Standard-Setting Programs [PDF]

    Philip Schleifer, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Matteo Fiorini, European University Institute, Florence, Italy
    Graeme Auld, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

    Short description: Beginning in the early 1990s, non-state actors have taken over a wide range of governance functions that used to be the prerogative of states and international organizations. In the field of International Relations and related disciplines, this has intensified debates about a lack of accountability and legitimacy in global governance. Reviewing this debate and the role transparency can play in mitigating the problem, this article uses a new data set to analyze the issue empirically. Examining a sample of 143 regulatory standard-setting (RSS) programs in the field of transnational sustainability governance, we show that “deep transparency” – i.e. the disclosure of salient information – remains a problem in this domain. However, there are also RSS programs that are highly transparent in their practices. Using a multivariate analysis, we investigate the internal and external determinants of these inter-program variations. We find a systematic relationship between inclusiveness and transparency – although no evidence for the conventional wisdom that single-actor business programs are per se less credible. Turning to the external determinants of transparency two findings stand out: First, instead of a “ratcheting-up effect”, we observe a race-to-the-bottom dynamic between competing RSS programs. Second, our results confirm arguments about the positive influence of meta-governance on transparency.

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