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Log-rolling and economic interests in the passage of the Smoot-Hawley tariff

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  • Irwin, Douglas A.
  • Kroszner, Randall S.

Abstract

We analyze Senate roll-call votes concerning tariffs on specific goods in order to understand the economic and political factors influencing the passage of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930. Contrary to recent studies emphasizing the partisan nature of the Congressional votes, our reading of the debates in the Congressional Record suggests that the final, party-line voting masks a rich vote- trading dynamic. We estimate a logit model of specific tariff votes that permits us to identify (a) important influences of specific producer beneficiaries in each Senator's constituency and (b) log- rolling coalitions among Senators with otherwise unrelated constituency interests which succeeded in raising tariff rates.
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Suggested Citation

  • Irwin, Douglas A. & Kroszner, Randall S., 1996. "Log-rolling and economic interests in the passage of the Smoot-Hawley tariff," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 173-200, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:crcspp:v:45:y:1996:i::p:173-200
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    4. Hayford, Marc & Pasurka, Carl Jr., 1992. "The political economy of the Fordney-McCumber and Smoot-Hawley tariff acts," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 30-50, January.
    5. Stratmann, Thomas, 1992. "The Effects of Logrolling on Congressional Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1162-1176, December.
    6. Richard T. Cupitt & Euel Elliott, 1994. "Schattschneider Revisited: Senate Voting On The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act Of 1930," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 187-199, November.
    7. Barry Eichengreen, 1986. "The Political Economy of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff," NBER Working Papers 2001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Douglas A. Irwin, 1998. "The Smoot-Hawley Tariff: A Quantitative Assessment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 326-334, May.
    9. Stratmann, Thomas, 1995. "Logrolling in the U.S. Congress," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(3), pages 441-456, July.
    10. Peltzman, Sam, 1984. "Constituent Interest and Congressional Voting," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 181-210, April.
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    12. Robert Archibald & David Feldman & Marc Hayford & Carl Pasurka, 2000. "Effective rates of protection and the Fordney-McCumber and Smoot-Hawley Tariff Acts: comment and revised estimates," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(9), pages 1223-1226.
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    Cited by:

    1. Glazer, Amihai & Konrad, Kai A., 1999. "Taxation of rent-seeking activities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 61-72, April.
    2. Pierre-Olivier Peytral, 2004. "Economie politique de la politique d'ouverture commerciale mixte : interactions entre les groupes sociaux et l'Etat," Post-Print halshs-00104875, HAL.
    3. Mario J. Crucini & James Kahn, 2003. "Tariffs and the Great Depression Revisited," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0316, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    4. Lei (Sandy) Ye, 2007. "U.S. Trade Policy and the Pacific Rim, from Fordney-McCumber to the Trade Expansion Act of 1962: A Political-Economic Analysis," Discussion Papers 07-001, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    5. Michael Mussa, 2000. "Factors driving global economic integration," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 9-55.
    6. Crucini, Mario J. & Kahn, James, 1996. "Tariffs and aggregate economic activity: Lessons from the Great Depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 427-467, December.
    7. Clifford G. Holderness & Randall S. Kroszner & Dennis P. Sheehan, 1998. "Were the Good Old Days That Good? Changes in Managerial Stock Ownership Since the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 6550, 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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