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Freedom fries

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  • 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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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/51598/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 51598.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:51598

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  1. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford & Schott, Peter K., 2006. "Trade costs, firms and productivity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 917-937, July.
  2. Guy Michaels & Xiaojia Zhi, 2007. "Freedom fries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3255, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Fershtman, C. & Gneezy, U., 2000. "Discrimination in a Segmented Society: an Experimental Approach," Papers 2000-9, Tel Aviv.
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  5. Anne-Célia Disdier & Thierry Mayer, 2007. "Je t'aime, moi non plus: Bilateral opinions and international trade," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/10183, Sciences Po.
  6. Claudia Goldin & Cecilia Rouse, 1997. "Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians," NBER Working Papers 5903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. DellaVigna, Stefano & Kaplan, Ethan, 2006. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," Seminar Papers 748, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  9. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
  10. Bandiera, Oriana & Barankay, Iwan & Rasul, Imran, 2009. "Social Connections and Incentives in the Workplace: Evidence from Personnel Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 7114, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Christian Broda & David Weinstein, 2004. "Globalization and the gains from variety," Staff Reports 180, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  12. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2003. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 113-132, March.
  13. Larry Chavis & Phillip Leslie, 2006. "Consumer Boycotts: The Impact of the Iraq War on French Wine Sales in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 11981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Petra Moser, 2008. "An Empirical Test of Taste-based Discrimination Changes in Ethnic Preferences and their Effect on Admissions to the NYSE during World War I," NBER Working Papers 14003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487, 05.
  16. Orley Ashenfelter & Stephen Ciccarella & Howard J. Shatz, 2007. "French Wine and the U.S. Boycott of 2003: Does Politics Really Affect Commerce?," NBER Working Papers 13258, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Ilyana Kuziemko & Eric Werker, 2006. "How Much Is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 905-930, October.
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  19. Becker, Gary S, 1993. "Nobel Lecture: The Economic Way of Looking at Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 385-409, June.
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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. 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.
  2. Guy Michaels & Xiaojia Zhi, 2007. "Freedom Fries," CEP Discussion Papers dp0815, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry & Thoenig, Mathias, 2010. "The geography of conflicts and free trade agreements," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1019, CEPREMAP.
  4. 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.
  5. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00797006 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g8m2hh491 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Sergey Mityakov & Heiwai Tang & Kevin K. Tsui, 2012. "International Politics and Import Diversification in the Second Wave of Globalization," Development Working Papers 342, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 13 Nov 2012.
  8. 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.
  9. Julia Cagé & Dorothée Rouzet, 2014. "Improving "National Brands": Reputation for Quality and Export Promotion Strategies," PSE Working Papers halshs-00797006, HAL.

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