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

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  • Benjamin H. Liebman
  • Kara M. Reynolds

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin H. Liebman & Kara M. Reynolds, 2006. "The returns from rent-seeking: campaign contributions, firm subsidies and the Byrd Amendment," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1345-1369, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:39:y:2006:i:4:p:1345-1369
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    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. Hillman, Arye L, 1982. "Declining Industries and Political-Support Protectionist Motives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1180-1187, December.
    5. 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 230-245, May.
    6. repec:cup:apsrev:v:84:y:1990:i:03:p:797-820_19 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Collie, David R. & Vandenbussche, Hylke, 2006. "Tariffs and the Byrd amendment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 750-758, September.
    8. 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.
    9. De Vault, James M, 2002. "Congressional Dominance and the International Trade Commission," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 110(1-2), pages 1-22, January.
    10. 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.
    11. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-985, December.
    12. Benjamin Liebman, 2004. "ITC voting behavior on sunset reviews," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 140(3), pages 446-475, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Xiaosong & Li, Kunwang & Xie, Shenxiang & Hou, Jack, 2013. "How is U.S. trade policy towards China determined?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 25-36.
    2. Rajwani, Tazeeb & Liedong, Tahiru Azaaviele, 2015. "Political activity and firm performance within nonmarket research: A review and international comparative assessment," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 273-283.
    3. Nownes Anthony J. & Aitalieva Nurgul R., 2013. "The political activities of American corporate leaders," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 15(4), pages 493-527, December.
    4. John Gilbert & Reza Oladi, 2012. "Net campaign contributions, agricultural interests, and votes on liberalizing trade with China," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(3), pages 745-769, March.
    5. Philip G. Gayle & Thitima Puttitanun, 2009. "Has the Byrd Amendment Affected US Imports?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 629-642, April.
    6. Kara M. Reynolds, 2005. "Anticipated versus Realized Benefits: Can Event Studies Be Used To Predict the Impact of New Regulations?," International Trade 0512005, EconWPA.
    7. Benjamin Liebman & Kasaundra Tomlin, 2015. "World Trade Organization sanctions, implementation, and retaliation," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 715-745, March.
    8. Carolyn L. Evans & Shane M. Sherlund, 2011. "Are Antidumping Duties for Sale? Case-Level Evidence on the Grossman-Helpman Protection for Sale Model," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 330-357, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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