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Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of tariffs and non-tariff measures on efforts to upgrade product quality. Following conventional approaches to quality measurement, we examine disaggregated data covering the European Union's food imports from 159 trading partners from 1995 to 2003 across 28 food industries. Food product import tariffs and non-tariff measures are found to affect the rate of quality upgrading. Furthermore, we find the effect of import standard enforcement on quality upgrading to be non-monotonic, in that the products close to the world technology frontier are more likely to upgrade, while those distant from the frontier are less likely to upgrade.

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