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Log-Rolling and Economic Interests in the Passage of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff

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  • Douglas A. Irwin
  • Randall S. Kroszner

Abstract

We analyze Senate roll-call votes concerning tariffs on specific goods in order to understand the economic and political factors influencing the passage of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930. Contrary to recent studies emphasizing the partisan nature of the Congressional votes, our reading of the debates in the Congressional Record suggests that the final, party-line voting masks a rich vote- trading dynamic. We estimate a logit model of specific tariff votes that permits us to identify (a) important influences of specific producer beneficiaries in each Senator's constituency and (b) log- rolling coalitions among Senators with otherwise unrelated constituency interests which succeeded in raising tariff rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5510.

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Date of creation: Mar 1996
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Publication status: published as Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Vol. 45 (December 1996): 173-200
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5510

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  1. Douglas A. Irwin, 1998. "The Smoot-Hawley Tariff: A Quantitative Assessment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 326-334, May.
  2. Barry Eichengreen, 1986. "The Political Economy of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 2001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Meltzer, Allan H., 1976. "Monetary and other explanations of the start of the great depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 455-471, November.
  4. Peltzman, Sam, 1985. "An Economic Interpretation of the History of Congressional Voting in the Twentieth Century," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 656-75, September.
  5. Peltzman, Sam, 1984. "Constituent Interest and Congressional Voting," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 181-210, April.
  6. Stratmann, Thomas, 1995. "Logrolling in the U.S. Congress," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(3), pages 441-56, July.
  7. Hayford, Marc & Pasurka, Carl Jr., 1992. "The political economy of the Fordney-McCumber and Smoot-Hawley tariff acts," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 30-50, January.
  8. Stratmann, Thomas, 1992. "The Effects of Logrolling on Congressional Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1162-76, December.
  9. Callahan, Colleen M. & McDonald, Judith A. & O'Brien, Anthony Patrick, 1994. "Who Voted For Smoot-Hawley?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(03), pages 683-690, September.
  10. Kalt, Joseph P & Zupan, Mark A, 1984. "Capture and Ideology in the Economic Theory of Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 279-300, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Glazer, Amihai & Konrad, Kai A., 1999. "Taxation of rent-seeking activities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 61-72, April.
  2. Michael Mussa, 2000. "Factors driving global economic integration," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 9-55.
  3. Lei (Sandy) Ye, 2007. "U.S. Trade Policy and the Pacific Rim, from Fordney-McCumber to the Trade Expansion Act of 1962: A Political-Economic Analysis," Discussion Papers, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research 07-001, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  4. Pierre-Olivier Peytral, 2004. "Economie politique de la politique d'ouverture commerciale mixte : interactions entre les groupes sociaux et l'Etat," Post-Print, HAL halshs-00104875, HAL.
  5. Clifford G. Holderness & Randall S. Kroszner & Dennis P. Sheehan, 1998. "Were the Good Old Days That Good? Changes in Managerial Stock Ownership Since the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 6550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mario J. Crucini & James Kahn, 2003. "Tariffs and the Great Depression Revisited," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics 0316, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  7. Crucini, M.J. & Kahn, J., 1994. "Tarrifs and Aggregate Economic Activity: Lessons from the Great Depression," RCER Working Papers, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER) 383, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).

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