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The political economy of trade and migration: Evidence from the US Congress

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  • Conconi, Paola
  • Facchini, Giovanni
  • Steinhardt, Max Friedrich
  • Zanardi, Maurizio

Abstract

Over the last decades, the United States has become increasingly integrated in the world economy. Very low trade barriers and comparatively liberal migration policies have made these developments possible. What drove US congressmen to support the recent wave of globalization? While much of the literature has emphasized the differences that exist between the political economy of trade and migration, in this paper we find that important similarities should not be overlooked. In particular, our analysis of congressional voting between 1970 and 2006 suggests that economic drivers that work through the labor market play an important role in shaping representatives' behavior on both types of policies. Representatives from more skilled-labor abundant districts are more likely to support both trade liberalization and a more open stance vis-à-vis unskilled immigration. Still, important systematic differences exist: welfare state considerations and network effects have an impact on the support for immigration liberalization, but not for trade; Democratic lawmakers are systematically more likely to support a more open migration stance than their Republican counterparts, and the opposite is true for trade liberalization. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) in its series HWWI Research Papers with number 136.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwirp:136

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Keywords: Trade Reforms; Immigration Reforms;

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  1. Hainmueller, Jens & Hiscox, Michael J., 2007. "Educated Preferences: Explaining Attitudes Toward Immigration in Europe," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(02), pages 399-442, April.
  2. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2005. "A Dual Policy Paradox: Why Have Trade and Immigration Policies Always Differed in Labor-Scarce Economies," NBER Working Papers 11866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mayda, Anna Maria & Rodrik, Dani, 2005. "Why are some people (and countries) more protectionist than others?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1393-1430, August.
  4. Gordon H. Hanson & Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2005. "Public Finance and Individual Preferences Over Globalization Strategies," Working Papers 524, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  5. Jorge G. Gonzalez & Nipoli Kamdar, 2000. "Do Not Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor! Determinants of Legislator Voting on Immigration Issues," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 127-143, Spring.
  6. Gordon H. Hanson & Antonio Splimbergo, 1999. "Political Economy, Sectoral Shocks, and Border Enforcement," NBER Working Papers 7315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Anna Maria Mayda, 2006. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 510-530, August.
  8. Paola Conconi & Giovanni Facchini & Maurizio Zanardi, 2012. "Fast-Track Authority and International Trade Negotiations," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/137521, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 162, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  10. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldbe & Giovanni Maggi, 1997. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 5942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Claudia Goldin, 1994. "The Political Economy of Immigration Restriction in the United States, 1890 to 1921," NBER Chapters, in: The Regulated Economy: A Historical Approach to Political Economy, pages 223-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Wellisch, Dietmar & Walz, Uwe, 1998. "Why do rich countries prefer free trade over free migration? The role of the modern welfare state," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(8), pages 1595-1612, September.
  13. Conconi, Paola & Facchini, Giovanni & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2011. "Policymakers' Horizon and Trade Reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 8561, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Facchini, Giovanni & Steinhardt, Max, 2011. "What Drives U.S. Immigration Policy? Evidence from Congressional Roll Call Votes," CEPR Discussion Papers 8299, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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. Robert E. Baldwin & Christopher S. Magee, 1998. "Is Trade Policy for Sale? Congressional Voting on Recent Trade Bills," NBER Working Papers 6376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," NBER Working Papers 5537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Collins, William J & O'Rourke, Kevin H & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1997. "Were Trade and Factor Mobility Substitutes in History?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1661, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  20. Kishore Gawande & Usree Bandyopadhyay, 2000. "Is Protection for Sale? Evidence on the Grossman-Helpman Theory of Endogenous Protection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 139-152, February.
  21. Blonigen, Bruce A & Figlio, David N, 1998. "Voting for Protection: Does Direct Foreign Investment Influence Legislator Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 1002-14, September.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. The political economy of migration (the US)
    by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2013-01-14 01:53:00
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Cited by:
  1. James Lake & Daniel L. Millimet, 2014. "An Empirical Analysis of Trade-Related Redistribution and the Political Viability of Free Trade," Departmental Working Papers 1405, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  2. Vöpel, Henning, 2013. "A Zidane clustering theorem: Why top players tend to play in one team and how the competitive balance can be restored," HWWI Research Papers 141, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).

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