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The returns from rent-seeking: campaign contributions, firm subsidies and the Byrd Amendment

  • Benjamin H. Liebman
  • Kara M. Reynolds

This is the first empirical study to examine Congressional support of a new law that distributes antidumping duties to protected firms. Because the law produces a transparent measure of how much each firm was rewarded for its efforts to secure the bill's passage, it provides researchers with a unique opportunity to study the link between the expected financial returns to firms, campaign contributions, and Congressional behaviour. Our results indicate that campaign contributions from beneficiaries increased the likelihood that lawmakers would sponsor the law, while contributions from the law's beneficiaries increased with the rewards they expected to receive.

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Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 39 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1345-1369

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:39:y:2006:i:4:p:1345-1369
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  1. Giovanni Maggi & Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, 1999. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1135-1155, December.
  2. Hillman, Arye L, 1982. "Declining Industries and Political-Support Protectionist Motives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1180-87, December.
  3. Reynolds, Kara M., 2006. "Subsidizing rent-seeking: Antidumping protection and the Byrd Amendment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 490-502, December.
  4. Chappell, Henry W, Jr, 1982. "Campaign Contributions and Congressional Voting: A Simultaneous Probit-Tobit Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(1), pages 77-83, February.
  5. Benjamin Liebman, 2004. "ITC voting behavior on sunset reviews," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 446-475, September.
  6. De Vault, James M, 2002. " Congressional Dominance and the International Trade Commission," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 110(1-2), pages 1-22, January.
  7. Hansen, Wendy L & Prusa, Thomas J, 1997. "The Economics and Politics of Trade Policy: An Empirical Analysis of ITC Decision Making," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(2), pages 230-45, May.
  8. Baldwin, Robert E & Magee, Christopher S, 2000. " Is Trade Policy for Sale? Congressional Voting on Recent Trade Bills," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 79-101, October.
  9. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Collie, David R. & Vandenbussche, Hylke, 2006. "Tariffs and the Byrd amendment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 750-758, September.
  11. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-85, December.
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