Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Searching for the (dark) forces behind protection


Author Info

  • Hadi Salehi Esfahani


This paper re-examines the determinants of trade policy. It modifies the Grossman--Helpman model of trade policy to take account of factors besides lobby contributions that may lead politicians to value rents differently across industries. The idea is motivated by the puzzling results of the recent empirical work on the Grossman--Helpman model. The empirical work in the paper based on US data confirms that lobby contributions do not play obvious roles in trade policy. Rather, trade policies seem to be placing higher weights on the earnings of industries where lower skill workers and smaller, less capital intensive firms are more prevalent. It is argued that this can be explained by the credit and insurance constraints that such agents tend to face. The weakness of lobby contributions in predicting protectionism across industries may be due to the variety of alternative goals that lobbies pursue and the diversity of interests within each industry. Also, the industries with well-organized and well-funded lobbies may have easier access to more efficient fiscal and financial transfers. The approach adopted in this paper paves the way for examining a variety of determinants of trade policy in a broader framework. The regularities observed here have far-reaching implications for the pattern and evolution of trade policies. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 57 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 283-314

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:57:y:2005:i:2:p:283-314

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page:

Order Information:

Related research



No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Giovanni Facchini & Johannes Van Biesebroeck & Gerald Willmann, 2005. "Protection for Sale with Imperfect Rent Capturing," Development Working Papers, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano 207, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  2. Esfahani, Hadi Salehi & Squire, Lyn, 2007. "Explaining trade policy in the Middle East and North Africa," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 660-684, February.
  3. Philipp Maier, 2008. "A Wave of Protectionism? An Analysis of Economic and Political Considerations," Working Papers, Bank of Canada 08-2, Bank of Canada.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:57:y:2005:i:2:p:283-314. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.