IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/inecon/v105y2017icp57-76.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Suspiciously timed trade disputes

Author

Listed:
  • Conconi, Paola
  • DeRemer, David R.
  • Kirchsteiger, Georg
  • Trimarchi, Lorenzo
  • Zanardi, Maurizio

Abstract

This paper shows that electoral incentives crucially affect the initiation of trade disputes. Focusing on WTO disputes filed by the United States during the 1995–2014 period, we find that U.S. presidents are more likely to initiate a dispute in the year preceding their re-election. Moreover, U.S. trade disputes are more likely to involve industries that are important in swing states. To explain these regularities, we develop a theoretical model in which re-election motives can lead an incumbent politician to file trade disputes to appeal to voters motivated by reciprocity.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:57-76
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2016.12.001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022199616301490
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jinteco.2016.12.001?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chad P. Bown & Meredith A. Crowley, 2013. "Self-Enforcing Trade Agreements: Evidence from Time-Varying Trade Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 1071-1090, April.
    2. Mirabelle Muûls & Dimitra Petropoulou, 2013. "A swing state theory of trade protection in the Electoral College," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 46(2), pages 705-724, May.
    3. Brender, Adi & Drazen, Allan, 2005. "Political budget cycles in new versus established democracies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1271-1295, October.
    4. Conconi, Paola & Facchini, Giovanni & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2014. "Policymakers' horizon and trade reforms: The protectionist effect of elections," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 102-118.
    5. Paola Conconi & Giovanni Facchini & Maurizio Zanardi, 2012. "Fast-Track Authority and International Trade Negotiations," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 146-189, August.
    6. Kuenzel, David J., 2017. "WTO dispute determinants," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 157-179.
    7. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    8. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2003. "Promises & Partnership," Research Papers in Economics 2003:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    9. Frederico Finan & Laura Schechter, 2012. "Vote‐Buying and Reciprocity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(2), pages 863-881, March.
    10. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gachter & Georg Kirchsteiger, 1997. "Reciprocity as a Contract Enforcement Device: Experimental Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 833-860, July.
    11. Fouad Pervez, 2015. "Waiting for election season," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 265-303, June.
    12. Paola Conconi & Nicolas Sahuguet & Maurizio Zanardi, 2014. "Democratic Peace And Electoral Accountability," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 997-1028, August.
    13. Andrew Healy & Gabriel S. Lenz, 2014. "Substituting the End for the Whole: Why Voters Respond Primarily to the Election‐Year Economy," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 58(1), pages 31-47, January.
    14. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2006. "A theory of reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 293-315, February.
    15. Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2013. "Guns and Votes," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2013-39, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
      • Bouton, Laurent & Conconi, Paola & Pino, Francisco & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2013. "Guns and Votes," CEPR Discussion Papers 9726, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
      • Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2014. "Guns and Votes," NBER Working Papers 20253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2013. "Guns and votes," Working Papers 43819146, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    16. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2008. "How Do Budget Deficits and Economic Growth Affect Reelection Prospects? Evidence from a Large Panel of Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2203-2220, December.
    17. Sam Peltzman, 1992. "Voters as Fiscal Conservatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 327-361.
    18. Horn, Henrik & Johannesson, Louise & Mavroidis, Petros C., 2011. "The WTO Dispute Settlement System 1995-2010: Some Descriptive Statistics," Working Paper Series 891, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    19. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2014. "What Explains the 2007–2009 Drop in Employment?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82, pages 2197-2223, November.
    20. Dufwenberg, Martin & Kirchsteiger, Georg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 268-298, May.
    21. Bown, Chad P. & Crowley, Meredith A., 2013. "Import protection, business cycles, and exchange rates: Evidence from the Great Recession," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 50-64.
    22. Shi, Min & Svensson, Jakob, 2006. "Political budget cycles: Do they differ across countries and why?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1367-1389, September.
    23. Sebastian Kube & Michel Andre Marechal & Clemens Puppe, 2012. "The Currency of Reciprocity: Gift Exchange in the Workplace," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1644-1662, June.
    24. Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 2008. "Vote Buying: General Elections," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 351-380, April.
    25. Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2009. "A Concordance Between Ten-Digit U.S. Harmonized System Codes and SIC/NAICS Product Classes and Industries," NBER Working Papers 15548, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Chase, Claude & Yanovich, Alan & Crawford, Jo-Ann & Ugaz, Pamela, 2013. "Mapping of dispute settlement mechanisms in regional trade agreements: Innovative or variations on a theme?," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2013-07, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    27. Chad Bown & Kara Reynolds, 2015. "Trade flows and trade disputes," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 145-177, June.
    28. James A. Robinson & Thierry Verdier, 2013. "The Political Economy of Clientelism," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(2), pages 260-291, April.
    29. Chad P. Bown & Kara M. Reynolds, 2017. "Trade Agreements and Enforcement: Evidence from WTO Dispute Settlement," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 64-100, November.
    30. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
    31. Edward L. Glaeser & Bryce A. Ward, 2006. "Myths and Realities of American Political Geography," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 119-144, Spring.
    32. Giovanni Maggi & Robert W. Staiger, 2011. "The Role of Dispute Settlement Procedures in International Trade Agreements," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 475-515.
    33. Allan Drazen, 2001. "The Political Business Cycle after 25 Years," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 75-138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    34. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2006. "Promises and Partnership," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1579-1601, November.
    35. Huber, Gregory A. & Hill, Seth J. & Lenz, Gabriel S., 2012. "Sources of Bias in Retrospective Decision Making: Experimental Evidence on Voters’ Limitations in Controlling Incumbents," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 720-741, November.
    36. Schwartz, Warren F & Sykes, Alan O, 2002. "The Economic Structure of Renegotiation and Dispute Resolution in the World Trade Organization," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 179-204, January.
    37. Chaudoin, Stephen, 2014. "Audience Features and the Strategic Timing of Trade Disputes," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(4), pages 877-911, October.
    38. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
    39. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
    40. William D. Nordhaus, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 169-190.
    41. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 21-36, March.
    42. Hahn, Volker, 2009. "Reciprocity and voting," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 467-480, November.
    43. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-664, August.
    44. Brender, Adi & Drazen, Allan, 2013. "Elections, leaders, and the composition of government spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 18-31.
    45. David Stromberg, 2008. "How the Electoral College Influences Campaigns and Policy: The Probability of Being Florida," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 769-807, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Chad Brown & Paola Conconi & Aksel Erbahar & Lorenzo Trimarchi, 2020. "Trade Protection Along Supply Chains," Working Papers ECARES 2020-52, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Rotunno, Lorenzo, 2016. "Political stability and trade agreements: Evidence for ‘endgame FTAs’," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 133-148.
    3. Lorenzo Trimarchi, 2020. "Trade Policy and the China Syndrome," Working Papers ECARES 2020-15, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Arevik Gnutzmann-Mkrtchyan & Hoffstadt, 2020. "Use and Abuse of Antidumping by Global Cartels," CESifo Working Paper Series 8729, CESifo.
    5. Aquilante, Tommaso, 2018. "Undeflected pressure? The protectionist effect of political partisanship on US antidumping policy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 455-470.
    6. Lu, Yi & Tao, Zhigang & Zhang, Yan, 2018. "How do exporters adjust export product scope and product mix to react to antidumping?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 20-41.
    7. Liebman, Benjamin H. & Reynolds, Kara M., 2022. "Casualties of trade wars," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 148(C).
    8. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Martin Dufwenberg, 2022. "Belief-Dependent Motivations and Psychological Game Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 833-882, September.
    9. Kuenzel, David J., 2017. "WTO dispute determinants," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 157-179.
    10. Dufwenberg, Martin & Kirchsteiger, Georg, 2019. "Modelling kindness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 228-234.
    11. Maggi, Giovanni & Staiger, Robert W., 2020. "Learning by ruling and trade disputes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    12. Leonardi, Marco & Meschi, Elena, 2021. "Do Non-tariff Barriers to Trade Save American Jobs and Wages?," IZA Discussion Papers 14162, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. 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.
    2. Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2018. "Guns, Environment, and Abortion: How Single-Minded Voters Shape Politicians’ Decisions," Working Papers ECARES 2018-07, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. García, Israel & Hayo, Bernd, 2021. "Political budget cycles revisited: Testing the signalling process," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    4. Alesina, A. & Passalacqua, A., 2016. "The Political Economy of Government Debt," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2599-2651, Elsevier.
    5. Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2013. "Guns and Votes," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2013-39, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
      • Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2013. "Guns and votes," Working Papers 43819146, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
      • Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2014. "Guns and Votes," NBER Working Papers 20253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Bouton, Laurent & Conconi, Paola & Pino, Francisco & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2013. "Guns and Votes," CEPR Discussion Papers 9726, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Laurent Bouton & Paola Conconi & Francisco Pino & Maurizio Zanardi, 2021. "The Tyranny of the Single-Minded: Guns, Environment, and Abortion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 48-59, March.
    7. Boosey, Luke & Goerg, Sebastian, 2020. "The timing of discretionary bonuses – effort, signals, and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 254-280.
    8. Margarita Katsimi & Vassilis Sarantides, 2015. "Public investment and reelection prospects in developed countries," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 82(2), pages 471-500, October.
    9. Marcela Eslava, 2011. "The Political Economy Of Fiscal Deficits: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 645-673, September.
    10. Vera Popva, 2010. "What renders financial advisors less treacherous? - On commissions and reciprocity -," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-036, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    11. Vergne, Clémence, 2009. "Democracy, elections and allocation of public expenditures in developing countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 63-77, March.
    12. Dilla, Diana, 2017. "Staatsverschuldung und Verschuldungsmentalität [Public Debt and Debt Mentality]," MPRA Paper 79432, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Ziogas, Thanasis & Panagiotidis, Theodore, 2021. "Revisiting the political economy of fiscal adjustments," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 111(C).
    14. Barmettler, Franziska & Fehr, Ernst & Zehnder, Christian, 2012. "Big experimenter is watching you! Anonymity and prosocial behavior in the laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 17-34.
    15. J. Stephen Ferris & Bharatee Bhusana Dash, 2019. "Expenditure visibility and voter memory: a compositional approach to the political budget cycle in Indian states, 1959–2012," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 129-157, June.
    16. Çağatay Bircan & Orkun Saka, 2021. "Lending Cycles and Real Outcomes: Costs of Political Misalignment," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 131(639), pages 2763-2796.
    17. Gary Bolton & Peter Werner, 2016. "The influence of potential on wages and effort," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(3), pages 535-561, September.
    18. Samuele Murtinu & Giulio Piccirilli & Agnese Sacchi, 2022. "Rational inattention and politics: how parties use fiscal policies to manipulate voters," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 190(3), pages 365-386, March.
    19. Castro, Vítor & Martins, Rodrigo, 2018. "Politically driven cycles in fiscal policy: In depth analysis of the functional components of government expenditures," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 44-64.
    20. Dhaene, Geert & Bouckaert, Jan, 2010. "Sequential reciprocity in two-player, two-stage games: An experimental analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 289-303, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade disputes; Elections; Reciprocity;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:57-76. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.