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How Exporting Firms Respond to Technical Barriers to Trade?

Hu, Cui and Lin, Faqin and Tan, Yong and Tang, Yihong (2017): How Exporting Firms Respond to Technical Barriers to Trade?

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Abstract

This paper investigates how Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) affect firm export performance. The implementation of the “Children-Resistance” act (CR act) in the EU offers an ideal quasi-natural experiment to identify the causal effect of TBTs on firm performance. Using data on Chinese firms that export cigarette lighters between 2004 and 2008, empirical results show that firms that export to the EU not only adjust their product quality to meet the requirements in the CR act, but also upgrade their product quality in other dimensions. However, both the export value and export volume to the EU decline. At the same time, less productive exporters are forced to exit from the EU market. In addition, while the effect of the CR act on export quality is significant only in the implementation year, its impact on firm-level export scale last longer even after its implementation, which is referred to as a dynamic impact. Lastly, Heterogeneous effect of TBT is also documented.

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