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Foreign influence and welfare

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  • Antràs, Pol
  • Padró i Miquel, Gerard

Abstract

How do foreign interests influence policy? How are trade policies and the viability of trade agreements affected? What are the welfare implications of such foreign influence? In this paper we develop a model of foreign influence and apply it to the study of optimal tariffs. In a two-country voting model of electoral competition, we allow the incumbent party in each country to take costly actions that probabilistically affect the electoral outcome in the other country. We show that policies end up maximizing a weighted sum of domestic and foreign welfare. Using this formulation we show that foreign influence increases aggregate world welfare when there are no other means of alleviating the externalities that arise from cross-border effects of policies. In contrast, when countries can engage in international agreements, foreign influence can prove harmful as powerful countries may refuse to offer concessions. We also show that power imbalances are particularly detrimental to cooperation when they are positively correlated with economic size.

Suggested Citation

  • Antràs, Pol & Padró i Miquel, Gerard, 2011. "Foreign influence and welfare," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 135-148, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:84:y:2011:i:2:p:135-148
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cage, Julia & Gadenne, Lucie, 2016. "Tax Revenues, Development, and the Fiscal Cost of Trade Liberalization, 1792-2006," Economic Research Papers 269314, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    2. Julia Cage & Lucie Gadenne, 2014. "Tax Revenues, Development, and the Fiscal Cost of Trade Liberalization, 1792-2006," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/4icc4hr7684, Sciences Po.
    3. Aidt, Toke S. & Albornoz, Facundo, 2011. "Political regimes and foreign intervention," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 192-201, March.
    4. Kazunobu HAYAKAWA & Nuttawut LAKSANAPANYAKUL & Pisit PUAPAN & Sasatra SUDSAWASD, 2015. "Government Strategy and Support for Regional Trade Agreements: The Case of Thailand," Working Papers DP-2015-37, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    5. Facundo Albornoz & Esther Hauk, 2010. "Civil War and Foreign Influence," Working Papers 480, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Foreign influence Externalities Welfare Electoral competition Balance of power Import tariffs;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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