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Endogenous political organization and the value of trade agreements

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  • Mitra, Devashish

Abstract

In a bargaining model of endogenous protection, I introduce fixed costs of political-organization that need to be incurred by capitalists prior to actual lobbying. Unlike Maggi and Rodriguez-Clare [J. Pol. Econ. 106(3) (1998) 575] intersectoral capital mobility is disallowed. Nevertheless, I am still able to obtain their main result that a government with low bargaining power vis-à-vis the import-competing lobby precommits to a free-trade agreement. Further, with high fixed organizational costs, the government prefers to stay out of such agreements. Its maximum bargaining power consistent with signing a trade agreement has an inverse-V-shaped relationship with respect to the size of fixed costs.
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  • Mitra, Devashish, 2002. "Endogenous political organization and the value of trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 473-485, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:57:y:2002:i:2:p:473-485
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    1. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
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    3. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 675-708, August.
    4. Devashish Mitra, 2016. "Endogenous Lobby Formation and Endogenous Protection: A Long-Run Model of Trade Policy Determination," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Political Economy of Trade Policy Theory, Evidence and Applications, chapter 1, pages 3-21, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Giovanni Maggi & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 1998. "The Value of Trade Agreements in the Presence of Political Pressures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 574-601, June.
    6. Aaron Tornell, 1991. "Time Inconsistency of Protectionist Programs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 963-974.
    7. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
    8. Staiger, Robert W & Tabellini, Guido, 1987. "Discretionary Trade Policy and Excessive Protection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 823-837, December.
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