Swann, G.P. (2010). International Standards and Trade: A Review of the Empirical Literature. OECD Trade Policy Papers, No.97, OECD Publishing.
This paper reviews the body of empirical work that has investigated the specific question: How international standards impact on international trade? The findings from econometric models shows that there is often, but not always, a positive relationship between international standards and exports or imports, which supports the view that international standards are supportive of trade. For national standards studies find positive as well as negative effects on trade and thus provide only qualified support for the commonly held view that national standards create barriers to trade.
On the issue of trade effects, the literature review provides a complex explanation on how the multiple economic effects of standards interact. The paper summarises some of the existing empirical evidence for some of these effects, which include network externalities, variety, knowledge, quality and trust, and which merit further research in order to understand when standards help trade, and when not.