The Influence of Standards on the Nordic Economies

The report "The Influence of Standards on the Nordic Economies" is a study of how an increased use of standards effects economic development in the Nordic countries. 1 179 Nordic companies from different industries and with experience of using standards, participated in the study.

Macroeconomic approach

The study shows that standardization has contributed to increased labor productivity in all the Nordic countries in recent decades. The results show that doubling the set of standards in an economy can be linked to an increase in labor productivity by 10.5 percent. On average, standardization is linked to an annual increase in labor productivity by 0.7 percent. This indicates that standardization can be linked to 39 percent of labor productivity growth and to 28 percent of GDP growth in the Nordic countries during the period 1976-2014.

Sales, marketing, market access and risk management

The study shows that standards are an important means for Nordic companies to increase sales and access to markets. The survey shows that for the Nordic companies' strategies it is important to follow and apply standards. The main reason why companies use standards is that they want better access to markets, improve the quality of their products and services, and their risk management. The companies state the same benefits of standards, regardless of country.

Technical development, efficiency, quality and trust with customers

Up to 85 percent of respondents agree with the statement that standards create trust and confidence with customers. Three out of four companies report that standards improve the quality of their products and services (74 percent), and that standards simplify the communication between producer and consumer (72 percent). 69 percent of exporting companies finds that standards simplify their exporting of goods and services. Six out of ten respondents emphasize standards as a good means to follow technical developments

Business development and costs

A large majority of the companies, 87 percent, consider standardization an important part of their future business plans. Three out of four firms, 73 percent, consider benefits to exceed costs of standards.

The study is conducted by Menon Economics in cooperation with Oxford Research and the Social Science Research Institute of the University of Iceland. The study was commissioned as a joint initiative by the Nordic standardization bodies: Standards Norway (SN), Danish Standards (DS), Swedish Institute for Standards, Finnish Standards Association (SFS) and Icelandic Standards (IST).

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"The Influence of Standards on the Nordic Economies"

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