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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. Meltzer, Allan H., 1976. "Monetary and other explanations of the start of the great depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 455-471, November.
  2. Douglas A. Irwin, 1998. "The Smoot-Hawley Tariff: A Quantitative Assessment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 326-334, May.
  3. Peltzman, Sam, 1984. "Constituent Interest and Congressional Voting," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 181-210, April.
  4. Stratmann, Thomas, 1992. "The Effects of Logrolling on Congressional Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1162-76, December.
  5. Barry Eichengreen, 1986. "The Political Economy of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff," NBER Working Papers 2001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Stratmann, Thomas, 1995. "Logrolling in the U.S. Congress," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(3), pages 441-56, July.
  7. Kalt, Joseph P & Zupan, Mark A, 1984. "Capture and Ideology in the Economic Theory of Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 279-300, June.
  8. Callahan, Colleen M. & McDonald, Judith A. & O'Brien, Anthony Patrick, 1994. "Who Voted For Smoot-Hawley?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(03), pages 683-690, September.
  9. Hayford, Marc & Pasurka, Carl Jr., 1992. "The political economy of the Fordney-McCumber and Smoot-Hawley tariff acts," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 30-50, January.
  10. Peltzman, Sam, 1985. "An Economic Interpretation of the History of Congressional Voting in the Twentieth Century," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 656-75, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Pierre-Olivier Peytral, 2004. "Economie politique de la politique d'ouverture commerciale mixte : interactions entre les groupes sociaux et l'Etat," Post-Print halshs-00104875, HAL.
  2. Mario J. Crucini & James Kahn, 2003. "Tariffs and the Great Depression Revisited," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0316, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  3. Crucini, M.J. & Kahn, J., 1994. "Tarrifs and Aggregate Economic Activity: Lessons from the Great Depression," RCER Working Papers 383, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  4. Glazer, A. & Konrad, K.A., 1997. "Taxation of Rent-Seeking Activities," Papers 97-98-04, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  5. Michael Mussa, 2000. "Factors driving global economic integration," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 9-55.
  6. 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 6550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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 07-001, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

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