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Do Labor Issues Matter in the Determination of U.S. Trade Policy? An Empirical Reevaluation

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  • Xenia Matschke
  • Shane M. Sherlund

Abstract

Some recent empirical studies, motivated by Grossman and Helpman's (1994) "protection-for-sale" model, suggest that very few factors (none of them labor related) determine trade protection. This paper reexamines the roles that labor issues play in the determination of trade policy. We introduce collective bargaining, differences in inter industry labor mobility, and trade union lobbying into the protection-for-sale model, and show that the equilibrium protection rate in our model depends upon these labor market variables. We test our model predictions using data from U.S. manufacturing and find that labor market considerations do seem to matter for U.S. trade policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 96 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 405-421

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:1:p:405-421

Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282806776157524
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  1. Giovanni Maggi & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 1998. "Import Peneteration and the Politics of Trade Protection," NBER Working Papers 6711, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Matschke, Xenia, 2004. "Labor Market Rigidities and the Political Economy of Trade Protection," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt9gd146fx, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  3. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 162, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  4. MaCurdy, Thomas E & Pencavel, John H, 1986. "Testing between Competing Models of Wage and Employment Determination in Unionized Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S3-S39, June.
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  7. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldbe & Giovanni Maggi, 1997. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 5942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Shiells, C.R. & Stern, R.M. & Deardorff, A.V., 1988. "Estimates Of The Elasticities Of Substitution Between Imports And Home Goods For The United States: Reply," Working Papers 235, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  9. Baldwin, Robert E & Magee, Christopher S, 2000. " Is Trade Policy for Sale? Congressional Voting on Recent Trade Bills," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 79-101, October.
  10. Kishore Gawande & Usree Bandyopadhyay, 2000. "Is Protection for Sale? Evidence on the Grossman-Helpman Theory of Endogenous Protection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 139-152, February.
  11. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1979. "The Estimation of a Simultaneous-Equation Tobit Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(1), pages 169-81, February.
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  13. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
  14. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, December.
  15. Gaston, Noel & Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "Union wage sensitivity to trade and protection: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 1-25, August.
  16. Rodrik, Dani, 1995. "Political economy of trade policy," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1457-1494 Elsevier.
  17. Theo Eicher & Thomas Osang, 2002. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1702-1710, December.
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