The perceived benefits of the European Union standardization. An exploration according to firm size and firm capabilities

Abstract

We examine how the European Union (EU) standardization policy is perceived by firms by exploiting a survey dataset on firms’ benefits. We explore whether perceived benefits are associated with firm size and firm capabilities. We find strong evidence that the perceived benefits of standardization is not equally distributed across firm size classes, industries and countries. Our study indicates that small ventures are less likely to perceive benefits from EU standardization than their larger counterparts, in particular in Eastern European and Mediterranean countries. Additionally, we find evidence that firms with the capabilities to be innovative, exporting and that employ foreign labor are more likely to perceive benefits from standardization than their non–innovative, non–exporting and non–foreign labour–employing counterparts. We suggest EU and EU Member States, in particular in Eastern and Mediterranean Europe, to focus on facilitating standardization compliance by enhancing the critical firm capabilities identified. Stimulation efforts could also be considered to address simultaneously supporting capabilities and standardization literacy.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    See, for example, though on a different question, Bos et al. (2013) who provide innovation patterns for 21 manufacturing industries in six EU countries by using a flexible measure for industry for the period 1980–1997.

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Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Belgian Federal Science Policy (BELSPO) granted to the SMESESAP research project TA/00/40. They are also indebted to the editor and the referees of the journal for their valuable comments and suggestions. All remaining errors are ours.

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Correspondence to Marcus Dejardin.

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Ramdani, D., van Witteloostuijn, A., Vanderstraeten, J. et al. The perceived benefits of the European Union standardization. An exploration according to firm size and firm capabilities. Int Econ Econ Policy 16, 379–396 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10368-017-0391-5

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Keywords

  • European standardization
  • Firm size
  • Firm capabilities
  • Country effect

JEL classification

  • (L15) Information and Product Quality; Standardization and Compatibility
  • (L25) Firm Performance: Size
  • Diversification
  • and Scope
  • (F15) Economic Integration