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The political economy of international trade and factor mobility

  • Giovanni Facchini

Free trade in goods and factors is efficient. When we move away from economic theory and consider the policies actually followed by governments, we observe distortions being implemented both on goods and factors trades. It is natural then to question the relative merits of the two types of intervention, and the normative literature has provided only partial answers. We ask then why is the international flow of goods and factors not free, and the political economy literature has looked at the two issues only separately. In studying the determination of trade policy, a theoretical paradigm has emerged, focusing on the role of influence driven contributions. This approach has also found strong empirical support. The literature on the political economy of factor mobility, on the other hand, is fragmented. Distortions in labor and capital flows are typically the subject of different studies, and only recently a unified framework has been proposed. More work has to be done in this area as well as in integrating the political economy of trade and factor movements. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2004.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economic Surveys.

Volume (Year): 18 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 1-32

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:18:y:2004:i:1:p:1-32
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