Access to Protection: Domestic Institutions and Trade Policy in Democracies
AbstractPrevious institutional explanations of trade policy have focused on the role of proportional representation on the promotion of free trade. This explanation generates numerous unsolved anomalies and provides limited guidance in explaining the difference between proportional representation countries and between majoritarian countries as well as within-country variation in trade policy. This article introduces a more general institutional theory that argues that the number of access points provided by institutions is the crucial institutional feature, as increasing the number of access points makes lobbying less costly, which benefits protectionists. From this, I hypothesize that the number of parties in government, the number of electoral districts, the nature of the vote, and other such institutions affect the level of protection and that, once these factors are controlled for, proportional representation has no impact on trade policy. I test this theory on tariff data in the post World War II developed democracies and find broad support for these hypotheses.This article was previously presented at the 2004 Annual Meetings of the Midwest Political Science Association. I would like to thank Alan Deardorff, Rob Franzese, Matt Golder, Mike Hanmer, Jude Hays, Cherie Maestas, Corrine McConnaughy, Will Moore, James D. Morrow, Won-Ho Park, and Jeff Staton for advice and comments and Yoshi Ono for excellent research assistance. All errors, of course, remain my own.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal International Organization.
Volume (Year): 61 (2007)
Issue (Month): 03 (July)
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