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A swing state theory of trade protection in the Electoral College

Author

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  • Mirabelle Muûls
  • Dimitra Petropoulou

Abstract

This paper analyzes trade policy determination in the Electoral College in the presence of swing voters. It determines the circumstances under which incumbent politicians have an incentive to build a reputation for protectionism, thus swaying voting decisions and improving their reelection probability. Strategic trade protection is shown to be more likely when protectionist swing voters have a lead over free trade supporters in states with relatively strong electoral competition and in states representing a larger proportion of Electoral College votes. An empirical test using a measure of industrial concentration in swing and decisive U.S. states lends support to the theoretical findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Mirabelle Muûls & Dimitra Petropoulou, 2013. "A swing state theory of trade protection in the Electoral College," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(2), pages 705-724, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:46:y:2013:i:2:p:705-724
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Elena Besedina, 2010. "Exporting, Productivity and Government Interventions: Is There a Link?," Discussion Papers 28, Kyiv School of Economics.
    2. Conconi, Paola & DeRemer, David R. & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Trimarchi, Lorenzo & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2017. "Suspiciously timed trade disputes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 57-76.
    3. Xiangjun Ma & John McLaren, 2018. "A Swing-State Theorem, with Evidence," NBER Working Papers 24425, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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