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Protection for Sale

  • Grossman, Gene M
  • Helpman, Elhanan

The authors develop a model in which special-interest groups make political contributions in order to influence an incumbent government's choice of trade policy. The interest groups bid for protection with their campaign support. Politicians maximize their own welfare, which depends on total contributions collected and on the welfare of voters. The authors study the structure of protection that emerges in the political equilibrium and the contributions by different lobbies that support the policy outcome. They also discuss why the lobbies may in some cases prefer to have the government use trade policy to transfer income, rather than more efficient means. Copyright 1994 by American Economic Association.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 84 (1994)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 833-50

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:84:y:1994:i:4:p:833-50
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  1. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 21-92, Tel Aviv.
  2. Baldwin, Robert E., 1984. "Trade policies in developed countries," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 571-619 Elsevier.
  3. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1981. "Theoretical Considerations on Negotiated Tariff Adjustments," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 135-53, March.
  4. Rodrik, Dani, 1986. "Tariffs, subsidies, and welfare with endogenous policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3-4), pages 285-299, November.
  5. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
  6. Van Long, Ngo & Vousden, Neil, 1991. "Protectionist responses and declining industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 87-103, February.
  7. 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.
  8. Ronald Findlay & Stanislaw Wellisz, 1982. "Endogenous Tariffs, the Political Economy of Trade Restrictions, and Welfare," NBER Chapters, in: Import Competition and Response, pages 223-244 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hillman, Arye L & Ursprung, Heinrich W, 1988. "Domestic Politics, Foreign Interests, and International Trade Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 719-45, September.
  10. Hillman, Arye L, 1982. "Declining Industries and Political-Support Protectionist Motives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1180-87, December.
  11. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Industrial policy under monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 79-102, February.
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