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.

Distortions, F11, Harmonization, Optimal tariff, Second best theory, Standards
Economics Letters
Department of Economics

Dehejia, V. (1998). Can standards immiserize?. Economics Letters, 59(3), 361–366.