International standards and international trade: Empirical evidence from ISO 9000 diffusion

Joseph A. Clougherty, Michał Grajek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Empirical scholarship on the standards-trade relationship has been held up due to methodological challenges: measurement, varied effects, and endogeneity. Considering the trade-effects of one particular standard (ISO 9000), we surmount methodological challenges by measuring standardization via national penetration of ISO 9000, allowing standardization to manifest via multiple (quality-signaling, information/compliance-cost, and common-language) channels, and using instrumental variable, multilateral resistance and panel data techniques to overcome endogeneity. We find evidence of common-language and quality-signaling augmenting country-pair trade. Yet, ISO-rich nations benefit the most from standardization, while ISO-poor nations find ISO 9000 to represent a trade barrier due to compliance-cost effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-82
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Organization
StatePublished - 2014


  • ISO 9000
  • International trade
  • Networks
  • Standards
  • Technical trade barriers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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