Research Activities

Research Projects

Private Standards and International Trade: An Economic Analysis on Soft Law (2020_2_40_020)


Rapidly evolving global value chains require deep economic integration, which involves direct negotiations over domestic polity and the harmonization or mutual recognition of standards. Governments have attempted to fulfill this goal through preferential trade agreements. Recently, private standards and certification, which cover broad fields such as product safety, the environment, labor, and human rights, have become widely adopted, functioning as de-facto standards or “soft laws.” This research project investigates the extent to which private standards and certifications affect the social welfare of developed and developing countries in trade, comparing to traditional standard policies, such as mutual recognition and harmonization.


April 2020 - March 2022

Members of the Research Project
[ Organizer ] Michida Etsuyo
[ Co-researcher ] Sato Hitoshi
  • eBook
  • IDE Policy Brief