Product standards are omnipresent in industrialized societies. Though standardization can be beneficial for domestic producers, divergent product standards have been categorized as a major obstacle to international trade. This paper quantifies the effect of standard harmonization on trade flows and characterizes the extent to which it changes the cost and demand structure of exporting.
We develop a model with firm heterogeneity in importing and cross-border shopping among consumers. Exchange-rate appreciations lower the cost of imported goods, but also lead to more cross-border shopping; hence, the net impact on aggregate retail prices and sales is ambiguous.