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Evaluating the Economic Impact of Harmonized Product Standards in the European Union

[+] Author Affiliations
Ted A. Aanstoos, Manfred Schmiemann

University of Texas at Austin

Paper No. IMECE2005-79257, pp. 233-238; 6 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Engineering/Technology Management
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Engineering and Technology Management Group
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4230-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


After its 2004 enlargement to 25 member nations, the European Union, with a population of 452 million and a GDP surpassing $10 trillion, represents one of the most powerful economic engines in the world, and is the primary trading and investment partner with the US. However, in spite of the mostly integrated single market in Europe, internal trade between member nations can be hindered by competing national level technical standards. To address such inefficiencies, the European Commission issues standardization directives under the New Approach doctrine, adopted in 1985 to harmonize product standards in Europe. This paper attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of the New Approach by analyzing European production and trade data, internal and external, of certain products governed by New Approach norms, in order to determine if economic activity in those products was significantly impacted by the streamlined standards, while controlling for other socioeconomic factors.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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