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The sources of protectionist drift in representative democracies


  • Laussel, Didier
  • Riezman, Raymond


We analyze a two country-two goods model of international trade in which citizens in each country differ by their specific factor endowments. The trade policy in each country is set by the politician who has been elected by the citizens in a previous stage. Due to a delegation effect citizens generally favor candidates who are more protectionist than they are. The (multiple) one candidate per country-equilibria exhibit a ''protectionist drift'' owing to this delegation effect and an abstention effect.
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  • Laussel, Didier & Riezman, Raymond, 2005. "The sources of protectionist drift in representative democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1855-1876, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:49:y:2005:i:7:p:1855-1876

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Representative democracy and capital taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 53-70, September.
    2. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1999. "Centralized versus Decentralized Provision of Local Public Goods: A Political Economy Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
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    6. Gatsios, Konstantine & Karp, Larry, 1995. "Delegation in a general equilibrium model of customs unions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 319-333, February.
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    8. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
    9. Konstantine Gatsios & Larry Karp, 1991. "Delegation Games in Customs Unions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 391-397.
    10. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-156, March.
    11. John Kennan & Raymond Riezman, 2013. "Do Big Countries Win Tariff Wars?," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 4, pages 45-51 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    Cited by:

    1. Keisuke Hattori, 2010. "Strategic Voting for Noncooperative Environmental Policies in Open Economies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 46(4), pages 459-474, August.
    2. Facchini, Giovanni & Silva, Peri & Willmann, Gerald, 2013. "The customs union issue: Why do we observe so few of them?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 136-147.
    3. Grégoire Rota Graziosi, 2009. "On the Strategic Use of Representative Democracy in International Agreements," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(2), pages 281-296, April.
    4. Roelfsema, Hein, 2007. "Strategic delegation of environmental policy making," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 270-275, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations


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