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Freedom Fries

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Author Info

  • Guy Michaels
  • Xiaojia Zhi

Abstract

Do firms choose inputs that minimize their cost of production, ignoring the attitudes of their owners and employees? We examine this question using an episode of worsening relations between the US and France: from February 2002 to March 2003, France's favorability rating in US public opinion polls fell from 83 percent to 35 percent. Very negative attitudes towards France became common even among college educated Americans with high levels of income, so they were likely prevalent among managers. Using data from 1999-2005, we find that the worsening relations reduced US imports from France by about 15 percent and US exports to France by about 8 percent, compared to other Eurozone or OECD countries. This decline was due in large part to a fall in France's share of the quantity of inputs traded between the Eurozone and the US; this decline is significant even after we control for changes in the product composition of trade flows. We also find that the decline in trade w as accompanied by a similar drop in both business trips and tourist visitations of US residents to France compared to Western Europe. Taken together, our findings suggest that competition cannot eliminate the effect of attitudes on firms' choice of inputs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0815.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0815

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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Keywords: Trade; Discrimination;

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References

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  7. Guy Michaels & Xiaojia Zhi, 2010. "Freedom Fries," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 256-81, July.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Freedom fries: How attitudes shape trade flows
    by jdingel in Trade diversion on 2010-08-05 15:20:42
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Cited by:
  1. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00797006 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Guy Michaels & Xiaojia Zhi, 2010. "Freedom Fries," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 256-81, July.
  3. Vasiliki Fouka & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2013. "Reprisals Remembered: German-Greek Conflict and Car Sales during the Euro Crisis," Working Papers 726, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  4. Julia Cagé & Dorothée Rouzet, 2014. "Improving "National Brands": Reputation for Quality and Export Promotion Strategies," PSE Working Papers halshs-00797006, HAL.
  5. Sergey Mityakov & Heiwai Tang & Kevin K. Tsui, 2012. "InternationalPolitics and Import Diversification in the Second Wave of Globalization," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0770, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  6. Moser, Petra, 2012. "Taste-based discrimination evidence from a shift in ethnic preferences after WWI," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 167-188.
  7. Moses Shayo & Asaf Zussman, 2011. "Judicial Ingroup Bias in the Shadow of Terrorism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1447-1484.
  8. Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry & Thoenig, Mathias, 2010. "The geography of conflicts and free trade agreements," CEPR Discussion Papers 7740, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g8m2hh491 is not listed on IDEAS

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