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Why Legislators are Protectionists: the Role of Majoritarian Voting in Setting Tariffs

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  • Willmann, Gerald

Abstract

Based on the observation that industries are often geographically concentrated, this paper proposes a new political economy model of trade protection. We associate the sectors of a specific factors model with electoral districts populated by continua of heterogeneous voters who differ in their relative factor endowments. We show how strategic delegation leads each district to elect a representative who is more protectionist than the median voter. The legislature formed by these representatives then sets tariffs that are strictly positive. Introducing additional policy instruments reveals a trade-off between efficiency and regional targetability. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2003,10.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:cauewp:1049

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Web page: http://www.wiso.uni-kiel.de/econ/
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Related research

Keywords: trade policy; political economy; representative democracy;

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References

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  1. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  2. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-50, September.
  3. Devashish Mitra, 1999. "Endogenous Lobby Formation and Endogenous Protection: A Long-Run Model of Trade Policy Determination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1116-1134, December.
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  8. Maggi, G & Rodriguez-Clare, A, 1996. "The Value of Trade Agreements in the Presence of Political Pressures," Papers 180, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  9. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2001. "Lobbying and Welfare in a Representative Democracy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 67-82, January.
  10. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-85, December.
  11. Theo S Eicher & Thomas Osang, 2000. "Politics and Trade Policy: An Empirical Investigation"," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0004, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  12. kishore gawande & pravin krishna, 2005. "The Political Economy of Trade Policy: Empirical Approaches," International Trade 0503003, EconWPA.
  13. 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.
  14. Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
  15. Facchini, Giovanni & Willmann, Gerald, 2005. "The political economy of international factor mobility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 201-219, September.
  16. Marius Brülhart, 2001. "Evolving geographical concentration of European manufacturing industries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 137(2), pages 215-243, June.
  17. John Douglas Wilson, 1990. "Are Efficiency Improvements In Government Transfer Policies Self-Defeating In Political Equilibrium?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 241-258, November.
  18. 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.
  19. Besley, Timothy J. & Coate, Stephen, 2000. "Centralized versus Decentralized Provision of Local Public Goods: a Political Economy Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 2495, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Giovanni Facchini & Oliver Lorz & Gerald Willmann, 2006. "Asylum seekers in Europe: the warm glow of a hot potato," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 411-430, June.
  2. Everaert, Greetje M.M., 2004. "The Political Economy of Restructuring and Subsidisation: An International Perspective," BOFIT Discussion Papers 12/2004, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  3. Mirabelle Muûls & Dimitra Petropoulou, 2008. "A Swing-State Theory of Trade Protection in the Electoral College," CEP Discussion Papers dp0849, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Hatfield, John, 2006. "Federalism, Taxation, and Economic Growth," Research Papers 1929, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  5. Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto, 2008. "Heterogeneous information and trade policy," Economics Working Papers 1296, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Dec 2011.
  6. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 2005. "A Protectionist Bias in Majoritarian Politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 5238, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Celik, Levent & Karabay, Bilgehan & McLaren, John, 2013. "Trade policy-making in a model of legislative bargaining," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 179-190.
  8. Giovanni Facchini & Peri Silva & Gerald Willmann, 2008. "The Customs Union issue: Why do we observe so few of them?," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces0827, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  9. Kishore Gawande & Pravin Krishna & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2009. "What Governments Maximize and Why: The View from Trade," NBER Working Papers 14953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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