Date Added: Nov 2009
Governments set numerous norms to protect consumers. Two countries may achieve the same level of protection of their consumers through different specifications. The adaptation costs induced by these differences create barriers to trade. The principle of mutual recognition addresses the problem by ensuring that products lawfully manufactured in one country are acceptable without adaptation in another country. The authors show that by shifting the transaction costs of adapting to several norms from firms to consumers the principle of mutual recognition creates disparities across countries and is (more) beneficial to larger countries.