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Does Public Opinion Affect Trade Policy?


  • Kono Daniel Y

    (University of California, Davis)


Although scholars have begun to explore the determinants of public attitudes toward trade policy, we still do not know whether these attitudes have policy consequences. This paper presents the first systematic analysis of this question. I find that higher public support for free trade leads to lower tariffs, but only in democracies. I also find that democracy leads to lower tariffs only where public support for free trade is relatively high. Hence, although both public opinion and regime type are important, neither matters independently of the other. This finding suggests a need for further research on the conditional effects of both.

Suggested Citation

  • Kono Daniel Y, 2008. "Does Public Opinion Affect Trade Policy?," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-21, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:buspol:v:10:y:2008:i:2:n:2

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    Cited by:

    1. Ehrlich Sean D, 2010. "Who Supports Compensation? Individual Preferences for Trade-Related Unemployment Insurance," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-24, April.
    2. Thomas Bernauer & Liang Dong & Liam F. McGrath & Irina Shaymerdenova & Haibin Zhang, 2016. "Unilateral or Reciprocal Climate Policy? Experimental Evidence from China," Politics and Governance, Cogitatio Press, vol. 4(3), pages 152-171.
    3. Pinheiro, Diogo & Chwieroth, Jeffrey & Hicks, Alexander, 2015. "Do international non-governmental organizations inhibit globalization? the case of capital account liberalization in developing countries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 63669, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Asif Efrat, 2016. "Promoting trade through private law: Explaining international legal harmonization," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 311-336, September.
    5. Eichenauer, Vera Z. & Fuchs, Andreas & Brueckner, Lutz, 2018. "The Effects of Trade, Aid, and Investment on China's Image in Developing Countries," Working Papers 0646, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.

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