This contribution evaluates determining factors of specific trade concerns (STCs) raised on technical barriers to trade (TBT)
notifications over the period 1995-2011. While multilateral and international agreements bind countries concerning the imposition
of tariffs on imports, TBTs have been used as trade policy instruments, which conceal the true motivations of governments.
The main legitimate reasons behind the imposition of TBTs are to increase environmental qualities and human health, or to
improve market efficiencies. However, in addition to these reasons, governments are also in pursuit of protecting their domestic
industries. In fact, this contribution analyses how trade protectionist motives and legitimate public policy objectives induce
these specific trade measures. Various effective factors of TBT STC notifications are considered in the econometric analysis
using fixed effect Poisson estimation as the main technique, and Poisson GMM as robustness specification. Separate estimations
on the European Union block in this study points at the determining factors of TBTs harmonised by heterogeneous member countries.
Results suggest that bilateral trade and tariffs are one of the forces of TBT STC notifications, acknowledging the protectionist
behaviour of authorities. Moreover, countries with high quality of humans' health-related environmental issues, and low environmental
vitalities, are more likely to impose new TBTs. Overall, this study confirms the complex nature of TBT STCs affected by economic,
technological, institutional, and health and environmental issues.
Forschungsbereich:Industrieökonomie, Innovation und internationaler Wettbewerb