تاثیر نوآوری ها و استانداردها در تجارت از اندازه گیری و آزمایش: نتایج تجربی از تجارت دو جانبه جریان سوئیس با آلمان، فرانسه و انگلستان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|24145||2001||22 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Information Economics and Policy, Volume 13, Issue 4, December 2001, Pages 439–460 Cover image
Nowadays, the impact of the measurement and testing infrastructure on economic performance and trade is theoretically and even politically widely accepted. However, there are no empirical studies on this issue. The purpose of this paper is to elucidate the impact of innovative capacity and technical standards as one important part of the measurement and testing infrastructure on international trade flows and competitiveness. In order to focus on the direct causality between innovative technology and measurement and testing standards and the respective market, the empirical analysis concentrates on the trade of measurement and testing products of a country with a top position in measurement and testing technology. In its empirical analysis of Switzerland’s trade flows with Germany, France and the UK, the paper follows the approach of the pioneering paper of Swann et al. (Economic Journal 106 (1996) 1297), who integrated for the first time technical standards as a technology indicator in the estimation of UK trade performance. The trade flows in measurement and testing products from 1980 until 1995 are explained by both an indicator for innovative capacity and for the degree of standardisation. The first indicator is based on the patent applications at the European patent office. The latter uses the stocks of technical standards in the countries differentiated by their regional scope. Four different trade equations are analysed, besides an export and an import function, the trade balance and the intra-industry trade. The results clearly show that both Switzerland’s innovative capacity and its stocks of standards are able to explain its export performance in the three countries. Secondly, especially the stocks of international standards in Switzerland have a positive impact on imports into Switzerland from the three countries, confirming their positive role for fostering trade in general. Thirdly, Switzerland’s export surplus concerning the three trade partners is positively affected by the stocks of international standards in Switzerland, which seem to be an important factor for international competitiveness. Finally, the results of the intra-industry model underline the common view of the general trade-fostering effect of even national standards in the case of the trade with the three countries.
In 1998, the European Commission published a brochure Setting the Standard: 25 Years of Quality Measurement. The description of the 25-year-old tradition of standardisation, measurement and testing underlines in an impressive manner the importance of measurements and standards in our lives. The quality of the products and services we consume, the competitiveness of our industries and the quality of our environment depend on being able to make accurate and reliable measurements. However, the economic analysis of measurement and testing has not been well developed until today. Although Kindleberger (1983: 377) has stated that standards of measurement can be classified as a public good in the sense that they are available for use by all and that use by any one economic actor does not hinder the use by others, there are no broad follow-up studies about this economic dimension of standards. 1 In addition to their public good character, they produce economies of scale, in that the more economic actors use a given standard, the more everybody gains from use by others caused by increased comparability and interchangeability. Standards of measurement and testing are designed to reduce transaction costs. The regional dimension of standards is affecting both the economies of scale and the transaction cost aspect of standards. Concerning the first, the larger its economies of scale the wider the regional scope of a measurement and testing standard. Secondly, the reduction of transaction costs will be higher, when transnational transactions are considered, because the saving potential is larger compared to intranational transactions. Consequently, international standards may increase international trade flows more intensively, compared to national standards. Still, the economic impact of measurement and testing on international trade has been not well developed. Furthermore, the system of measurement and testing standards and conformity assessment based upon it represent an important part of the technological infrastructure of a country, which may cause economies of scale for the producers and contributes to their competitive advantage. There is already a growing literature which recognises the increasing importance of technical change and considers differences in technological capacity as an important driving force for competitive advantage and trade. This literature encompasses both the formulation of new theories of trade and the reshaping of traditional approaches to trade. In the latter group is the so-called neo-endowment theory of trade, which extends the two-factor model of trade to include a greater number of additional input factors, including scientific and technological assets, while keeping the assumption of an identical world production function. In the former group are theories considering technology as an endogenous factor, including the new trade theory and the evolutionary approach (Grossman and Helpman, 1991). In combination with Kindleberger’s approach briefly outlined above, the technology-based trade theory provides the framework for this paper, in which we estimate in response to the claim of Helpman, 1998 and Helpman, 1999 for more technologically oriented trade theories and empirics, the importance of differences in technology in explaining the trade volumes of Switzerland’s trade of measurement and testing products between 1980 and 1995. We set a very narrow focus in our trade data, because there are close links to measurement and testing standards in these product categories, which allow us to integrate the measurement and testing aspects in our empirical analysis. The analysis of the correlation between both innovation and standardisation and foreign trade should reveal to what extent they exercise a positive or even negative effect considering standards on the bilateral trade flows in measurement and testing products between Switzerland and Germany, France, and the UK. In this study we will differentiate according to different effects of national and international or harmonised European standards, in order to prove the positive trade impacts of international standards according to theoretical considerations. In Section 2, first of all the theoretical hypotheses on the mechanisms of the national innovation potential and of standards on trade have been presented. The database which formed the basis of the empirical study and some general statistics will be displayed in Section 3. The effects of the innovation profile and the changes in the stock of standards on trade will be examined in a time series analysis pooled for the three countries in Section 4. The last section summarises the results and concludes with the attempt to evaluate the influence of innovations and standards on foreign trade in the age of globalisation.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The preceding analysis has combined data on patents and standards with data on trade flows in measurement and testing products to explore the effects of innovations and standards on trade in this special area. This paper is based on the approach developed by Blind and Jungmittag (2000), who extended the study of Swann et al. (1996). The former found similar results for Germany in a cross-section panel. An example is the high positive significance of the innovation indicator relative patent share on German export, which coincides with its role for Swiss exports in measurement and testing. However, in their study the impact of standards is either not significant or even negative, which confirms this approach applied to the measurement and testing sector with its very close links to standards. Finally, a direct comparison with the results of Swann et al. (1996) is inadequate, because of the non-inclusion of an innovation indicator. Probably therefore, they found that idiosyncratic UK standards have a stronger positive effect on exports and imports than internationally equivalent standards. This paper confirms Helpman’s request for more technologically oriented trade studies. First, the inclusion of the innovation parameter is a necessary condition for a trade analysis of the high-technology area of measurement and testing products. Innovative capacity is a significant explanatory factor for the export flows of Switzerland. Furthermore, the intra-industry trade is sensitive concerning the differences of the innovative capacities of the respective countries. The wider the technology gap becomes in measurement and trading technology the smaller the intra-industry trade gets and vice versa. Secondly, the focus on bilateral trade in measurement and testing products calls for on the one hand a closer look at the specific functions of measurement and testing standards in the theoretical discussion. Furthermore, the empirical results make obvious that standards have a major impact on the trade flows considered. First, both national and international measurement and testing standards have positive influence on Swiss exports and imports. Secondly, the intra-industry trade analysis elucidated their positive impact with a particularly strong impact of national standards. The large stock of the latter in the three trade partners of Switzerland is opening up their domestic markets for Swiss companies, whereas for the German, French and British suppliers of measurement and testing equipment the stock of international standards in Switzerland is more important. This observation gives a hint about the importance of country size for the impact of national and international standards, which has to be investigated in more depth. This study focused on measurement and testing made obvious that trade flow analyses have to consider technology specificities, which should include both innovation and diffusion aspects.13 Furthermore, bilateral relationships are certainly favourable to general export and import flows concerning the whole world, because of the inclusion of country-specific technology indicators and country size as an additional aspect which has to be taken into account.