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Title: Institutional Design of Voluntary Sustainability Standards Systems: Evidence from a New Database

Author(s): Matteo Fiorini, Bernard Hoekman, Marion Jansen, Philip Schleifer, Olga Solleder, Regina Taimasova, Joseph Wozniak

Publication Date: August 2017

Keyword(s): certification, SMEs, sustainability and voluntary standards

Programme Area(s): International Trade and Regional Economics

Abstract: Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) have become a common attribute of international production and trade. Even though VSS are not mandatory (required by law), in practice they often are necessary for producers to participate in global value chains. This paper uses a new international database to shed light on specific institutional dimensions of VSS systems that directly impact on the costs of compliance borne by producers and identifies a number VSS-specific features that are associated with the "producer-friendliness" of different VSS systems. These include membership in meta-standard organizations and stakeholder engagement in VSS decision-making.

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Bibliographic Reference

Fiorini, M, Hoekman, B, Jansen, M, Schleifer, P, Solleder, O, Taimasova, R, Wozniak, J. 2017. 'Institutional Design of Voluntary Sustainability Standards Systems: Evidence from a New Database'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research. http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12204