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What Governments Maximize and Why: The View from Trade

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  • Gawande, Kishore
  • Krishna, Pravin
  • Olarreaga, Marcelo

Abstract

Policy making power enables governments to redistribute income to powerful interests in society. However, some governments exhibit greater concern for aggregate welfare than others. This government behavior may itself be endogenously determined by a number of economic, political and institutional factors. Trade policy, being fundamentally redistributive, provides a valuable context in which the welfare mindedness of governments may be empirically evaluated. This paper investigates quantitatively the welfare mindedness of governments and attempts to understand these political and institutional determinants of the differences in government behavior across countries.
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  • Gawande, Kishore & Krishna, Pravin & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2009. "What Governments Maximize and Why: The View from Trade," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(03), pages 491-532, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:63:y:2009:i:03:p:491-532_09
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    1. repec:bla:reviec:v:25:y:2017:i:1:p:21-43 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Xuepeng Liu & Emanuel Ornelas, 2014. "Free Trade Agreements and the Consolidation of Democracy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 29-70, April.
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    7. Borchert, Ingo & Gootiiz, Batshur & Grover, Arti & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2012. "Landlocked or policy locked ? how services trade protection deepens economic isolation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5942, The World Bank.
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    16. Arcand, Jean-Louis & Olarreaga, Marcelo & Zoratto, Laura, 2011. "Weak Governments and Trade Agreements," CEPR Discussion Papers 8595, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Francisca Guedes de Oliveira, 2016. "Government Size versus Government Efficiency in a Model of Economic Growth," Eurasian Journal of Social Sciences, Eurasian Publications, vol. 4(2), pages 38-55.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F5 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy

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