This note considers the theoretical cogency of a recent argument in favour of standards harmonization. It demonstrates that this arises because it is assumed that countries practice free trade, whereas, if their terms of trade are variable, they should be setting optimal tariffs. The argument then loses its force.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Distortions, F11, Harmonization, Optimal tariff, Second best theory, Standards
Journal Economics Letters
Dehejia, V. (1998). Can standards immiserize?. Economics Letters, 59(3), 361–366.