Completed Research - Winners and Losers: The Politics of Setting International Financial Reporting Rules
Principal Investigator: Professor Walter Mattli
Project Summary: In an increasingly global economy, the setting of international standards – seemingly technical and apolitical – is rapidly becoming an issue of great economic and political salience. But who sets the international rules of standardization? Who wins, who loses? This project is funded by the Research Development Fund.
Most international standardization processes involve two key actors, Europe and the United States. These two players frequently agree on the need to adopt common standards but disagree on what the common solution should be. The outcomes vary greatly and this study seeks to explain why. The project examines the cases of international product standards, international accounting standards, international food standards, and standards for telecommunication and information technologies. The study also addresses key global governance issues. The vast majority of international standardization bodies are private-sector institutions. The increasing delegation of regulatory functions by governments to these private-sector bodies raises very important governance issues pertaining to the accountability, transparency, and legitimacy of these institutions.