Job Market Paper

  • Irene Iodice (2020), The Sound of Silence. Non-transparent technical regulations as obstacles to trade. A WP version here.

  • This work investigates the protective nature of newly introduced technical regulations that are not properly disclosed at the international level. We begin by building a novel database which identifies the process of adoption of those Technical Barriers to Trade (TBTs) that have been contested to the WTO through a Specific Trade Concern (STC). We then cross-reference this database with a firm-level panel of French exporters and we carry out an event study. We find that in more than 1/3 of the studied cases, countries have adopted the underlying regulations without previously announcing the change to other members. In these cases, the new regulation hampers exporters by causing a temporary halt of their activity. This stop lasts from one to two semesters, and it is shorter if the content of the new TBT is eventually disclosed by governments. While large firms are able to wait until more information is available, small firms exit the market. We interpret this evidence as suggesting that countries can effectively hinder foreign competitors by rising the uncertainty to serve their markets.


Ongoing research

  • Lionel Fontagné, Irene Iodice and Angelo Secchi (2019). The Granular Origins of Aggregate Product Diversification.

  • Maria Bas, Lionel Fontagné, Irene Iodice and Gianluca Orefice (2020). Heterogeneous Trade Elasticity: Skills, Prices and Demand.

  • Mark Dallas, Irene Iodice, Timothy Sturgeon, Daria Taglioni and Eric Thun (2020). Global Value Chains Vulnerabilities: the case of the Mobile Telecom Industry.

  • Irene Iodice and Camille Reverdy (2020). Technical Standards, Trade and Development.