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Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation

  • Giovanni Maggi
  • Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg

The Grossman-Helpman "Protection for Sale" model, concerning the political economy of trade protection, yields clear predictions for the cross-sectional structure of import barriers. Our objective is to check whether the predictions of the Grossman-Helpman model are consistent with the data and, if the model finds support, to estimate its key structural parameters. We find that the pattern of protection in the United States in 1983 is broadly consistent with the predictions of the model. A surprising finding is that the weight of welfare in the government's objective function is many times larger than the weight of contributions.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.89.5.1135
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 89 (1999)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1135-1155

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:89:y:1999:i:5:p:1135-1155
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.89.5.1135
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  1. Jong-Wha Lee & Phillip Swagel, 2000. "Trade Barriers And Trade Flows Across Countries And Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(3), pages 372-382, August.
  2. Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "Politics and Trade Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1269, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. 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.
  4. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," Papers 163, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  5. Pagan, Adrian & Vella, Frank, 1989. "Diagnostic Tests for Models Based on Individual Data: A Survey," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(S), pages S29-59, Supplemen.
  6. 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.
  7. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," NBER Working Papers 4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Clinton Shiells & Robert Stern & Alan Deardorff, 1989. "Estimates of the elasticities of substitution between imports and home goods for the United States: Reply," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 125(2), pages 371-374, June.
  10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521338257 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Hillman, Arye L, 1982. "Declining Industries and Political-Support Protectionist Motives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1180-87, December.
  12. Edward E. Leamer, 1986. "Cross Section Estimation of the Effects of Trade Barriers," UCLA Economics Working Papers 417, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. 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.
  14. Maggi, Giovanni & Rodriguez-Clare, Andres, 2000. "Import penetration and the politics of trade protection," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 287-304, August.
  15. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-85, December.
  16. 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.
  17. Anderson, James E & Neary, J Peter, 1996. "A New Approach to Evaluating Trade Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 107-25, January.
  18. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1995. "Product Differentiation and Oligopoly in International Markets: The Case of the U.S. Automobile Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 891-951, July.
  19. Ray, Edward John, 1981. "The Determinants of Tariff and Nontariff Trade Restrictions in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(1), pages 105-21, February.
  20. Chesher, Andrew & Irish, Margaret, 1987. "Residual analysis in the grouped and censored normal linear model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 33-61.
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