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he Political Economy of Trade and Migration: Evidence from the U.S. Congress

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Author Info

  • Paola Conconi

    (Université Libre de Bruxelles, ECARES and CEPR)

  • Giovanni Facchini

    (University of Nottingham, University of Milan, CEPR, CES-Ifo, IZA and LdA)

  • Max F. Steinhardt

    (Hamburg Institute for International Economics, LdA and CELSI)

  • Maurizio Zanardi

    (Université Libre de Bruxelles and ECARES)

Abstract

Over the last decades, the United States has become increasingly integrated in the world economy. Very low trade barriers and comparatively liberal migration policies have made these developments possible. What drove US congressmen to support the recent wave of globalization? While much of the literature has emphasized the differences that exist between the political economy of trade and migration, in this paper we find that important similarities should not be overlooked. In particular, our analysis of congressional voting between 1970 and 2006 suggests that economic drivers that work through the labor market play an important role in shaping representatives’ behavior on both types of policies. Representatives from more skilled-labor abundant districts are more likely to support both trade liberalization and a more open stance vis-à-vis unskilled immigration. Still, important systematic differences exist: welfare state considerations and network effects have an impact on the support for immigration liberalization, but not for trade; Democratic lawmakers are systematically more likely to support a more open migration stance than their Republican counterparts, whereas the opposite is true for trade liberalization.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano in its series Development Working Papers with number 346.

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Length: 41
Date of creation: 13 Nov 2012
Date of revision: 13 Nov 2012
Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:346

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Keywords: Trade Reforms; Immigration Reforms;

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  1. Paola Conconi & Giovanni Facchini & Maurizio Zanardi, 2008. "Fast Track Authority and International Trade Negotiations," Development Working Papers 246, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  2. Conconi, Paola & Facchini, Giovanni & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2011. "Policymakers' Horizon and Trade Reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 8561, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Giovanni Maggi & Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, 1999. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1135-1155, December.
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  7. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," NBER Working Papers 5537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Gordon H. Hanson & Antonio Splimbergo, 1999. "Political Economy, Sectoral Shocks, and Border Enforcement," NBER Working Papers 7315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2004. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 1115, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Gordon H. Hanson & Kenneth Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2007. "Public Finance And Individual Preferences Over Globalization Strategies," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 1-33, 03.
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  12. Robert E. Baldwin & Christopher S. Magee, 1998. "Is Trade Policy for Sale? Congressional Voting on Recent Trade Bills," NBER Working Papers 6376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Claudia Goldin, 1994. "The Political Economy of Immigration Restriction in the United States, 1890 to 1921," NBER Chapters, in: The Regulated Economy: A Historical Approach to Political Economy, pages 223-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Blonigen, Bruce A & Figlio, David N, 1998. "Voting for Protection: Does Direct Foreign Investment Influence Legislator Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 1002-14, September.
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  16. Facchini, Giovanni & Steinhardt, Max Friedrich, 2011. "What drives U.S. immigration policy? Evidence from congressional roll call votes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 734-743, August.
  17. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2006. "A Dual Policy Paradox: Why Have Trade and Immigration Policies Always Differed in Labour-Scarce Economies?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5443, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. 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.
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  20. Wellisch, Dietmar & Walz, Uwe, 1998. "Why do rich countries prefer free trade over free migration? The role of the modern welfare state," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(8), pages 1595-1612, September.
  21. Facchini, Giovanni & Willmann, Gerald, 2005. "The political economy of international factor mobility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 201-219, September.
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Blog mentions

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  1. The political economy of migration (the US)
    by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2013-01-14 01:53:00
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Cited by:
  1. Lake, James & Millimet, Daniel L., 2014. "An Empirical Analysis of Trade-Related Redistribution and the Political Viability of Free Trade," IZA Discussion Papers 8086, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Vöpel, Henning, 2013. "A Zidane clustering theorem: Why top players tend to play in one team and how the competitive balance can be restored," HWWI Research Papers 141, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).

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