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The Returns from Rent-Seeking: Campaign Contributions, Firm Subsidies, and the Byrd Amendment

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Author Info

  • Benjamin Liebman

    (St. Joseph's University)

  • Kara M. Olson

    (American University)

Abstract

This paper examines Congressional support of the Byrd Amendment, a new antidumping law that directs the U.S. Customs Service to distribute collected duties to protected firms. A critical feature of the Byrd Amendment is that it produces a highly transparent measure of how much each firm is rewarded for its rent-seeking efforts to secure the bill’s passage, specifically the dollar value its Byrd disbursement. Therefore, this policy provides researchers with a unique setting in which to study the link between campaign contributions, Congressional behavior, and the subsequent financial returns to firms. Our empirical results show that campaign contributions from potential beneficiaries increased the likelihood that lawmakers would sponsor the Byrd Amendment. We also show that political contributions from the law’s beneficiaries increased with the rewards that they expected to receive, although not by as much as predicted by some political economy models of trade policy.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/it/papers/0408/0408003.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series International Trade with number 0408003.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: 16 Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpit:0408003

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 17
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: Byrd Amendment; Antidumping; Campaign Contributions; Political Economy of Trade Policy;

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References

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  1. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-85, December.
  2. COLLIE, David R. & VANDENBUSSCHE, Hylke, . "Tariffs and the Byrd amendment," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1890, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Wendy L. Hansen & Thomas J. Prusa, 1996. "The Economics and Politics of Trade Policy: An Empirical Analysis of ITC Decision Making," Departmental Working Papers 199621, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  4. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-50, September.
  5. Reynolds, Kara M., 2006. "Subsidizing rent-seeking: Antidumping protection and the Byrd Amendment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 490-502, December.
  6. Baldwin, Robert E & Magee, Christopher S, 2000. " Is Trade Policy for Sale? Congressional Voting on Recent Trade Bills," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 79-101, October.
  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. Hillman, Arye L, 1982. "Declining Industries and Political-Support Protectionist Motives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1180-87, December.
  9. Chappell, Henry W, Jr, 1982. "Campaign Contributions and Congressional Voting: A Simultaneous Probit-Tobit Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(1), pages 77-83, February.
  10. Benjamin Liebman, 2004. "ITC voting behavior on sunset reviews," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 446-475, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Wang, Xiaosong & Li, Kunwang & Xie, Shenxiang & Hou, Jack, 2013. "How is U.S. trade policy towards China determined?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 25-36.
  2. Kara M. Reynolds, 2006. "Anticipated versus Realized Benefits: Can Event Studies be Used to Predict the Impact of New Regulations?," Working Papers 2006-02, American University, Department of Economics.
  3. Carolyn L. Evans & Shane M. Sherlund, 2006. "Are antidumping duties for sale? case-level evidence on the Grossman-Helpman protection for sale model," International Finance Discussion Papers 888, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. John Gilbert & Reza Oladi, 2011. "Net Campaign Contributions, Agricultural Interests, and Votes on Liberalizing Trade with China," Working Papers 201102, Utah State University, Department of Economics and Finance.

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