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New Evidence on the Formation of Trade Policy Preferences

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  • Bruce Blonigen

Abstract

This paper revisits the issue of people's preferences for international trade protection examining survey data from the American National Election Studies. I first show that both an individual's skills and the international trade characteristics of their employment industry affects their trade policy preferences, in contrast to previous analysis using these data. Second, I document that many people do not feel informed enough to state a preference on trade protection, which is inconsistent with assumptions of standard political economy models. I examine the factors that correlate with being uninformed, and show that inferences from actual trade policy outcomes can be incorrect if one does not account for this uninformed group. Finally, I examine and find that individuals' retirement decisions have systematic effects on both their choice to be informed and their trade policy preferences. This highlights that there are significant life-cycle implications to trade policy preferences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14627.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14627

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  1. William H. Kaempfer & Stephen V. Marks, 1993. "The Expected Effects of Trade Liberalisation: Evidence from US Congressional Action on Fast-Track Authority," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(6), pages 725-740, November.
  2. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The political economy of government responsiveness: theory and evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2308, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Arnaud Costinot & Jonathan Vogel, 2009. "Matching and Inequality in the World Economy," NBER Working Papers 14672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Valentino Larcinese, 2006. "Information acquisition, ideology and turnout: theory and evidence from Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3606, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-24, June.
  6. Eugene Beaulieu, 1999. "The Stopler-Samuelson Theorem Faces Congress," Working Papers 1999-01, Department of Economics, University of Calgary, revised 02 Jan 1999.
  7. Edward J. Balistreri, 1997. "The Performance of the Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek Model in Predicting Endogenous Policy Forces at the Individual Level," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-17, February.
  8. Douglas A. Irwin, 1995. "Industry or Class Cleavages over Trade Policy? Evidence from the BritishGeneral Election of 1923," NBER Working Papers 5170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2006. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 720-736, June.
  10. Rodrik, Dani, 1995. "Political economy of trade policy," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1457-1494 Elsevier.
  11. Eugene Beaulieu, 2002. "Factor or Industry Cleavages in Trade Policy? An Empirical Analysis of the Stolper-Samuelson Theorem," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 99-131, 07.
  12. Valentino Larcinese, 2003. "The Instrumental Voter Goes to the News-Agent: Demand for Information, Election Closeness, and the Media," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 579.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  13. Emily Blanchard & Gerald Willmann, 2013. "Trade, Education, and the Shrinking Middle Class," CESifo Working Paper Series 4141, CESifo Group Munich.
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Cited by:
  1. Marcus Noland, 2009. "United States Economic Policy Toward Asia," Economics Study Area Working Papers 103, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
  2. Bruce A., Blonigen, 2011. "Revisiting the evidence on trade policy preferences," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 129-135, September.

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