IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/inecon/v87y2012i1p18-26.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Competition and political organization: Together or alone in lobbying for trade policy?

Author

Listed:
  • Bombardini, Matilde
  • Trebbi, Francesco

Abstract

This paper employs a novel data set on lobbying expenditures to measure the degree of within-sector political organization and to explore the determinants of the mode of lobbying and political organization across U.S. industries. The data show that sectors characterized by a higher degree of competition tend to lobby more together (through a sector-wide trade association), while sectors with higher concentration and more differentiated products lobby more individually. The paper proposes a theoretical model to interpret the empirical evidence. In an oligopolistic market, firms can benefit from an increase in their product-specific protection measure, if they can raise prices and profits. They find it less profitable to do so in a competitive market where attempts to raise prices are more likely to reduce profits. In competitive markets firms are therefore more likely to lobby together, thereby simultaneously raising tariffs on all products in the sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Bombardini, Matilde & Trebbi, Francesco, 2012. "Competition and political organization: Together or alone in lobbying for trade policy?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 18-26.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:87:y:2012:i:1:p:18-26
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2011.11.011
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022199611001498
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jinteco.2011.11.011?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. Kishore Gawande & Usree Bandyopadhyay, 2000. "Is Protection for Sale? Evidence on the Grossman-Helpman Theory of Endogenous Protection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 139-152, February.
    2. Ludema, Rodney D & Mayda, Anna Maria & Mishra, Prachi, 2010. "Protection for Free? The Political Economy of U.S. Tariff Suspensions," CEPR Discussion Papers 7926, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Helpman Elhanan & Persson Torsten, 2001. "Lobbying and Legislative Bargaining," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-33, November.
    4. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    5. Leonardo Felli & Antonio Merlo, 2006. "Endogenous Lobbying," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 180-215, March.
    6. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
    7. Hillman, Arye L. & Van Long, Ngo & Soubeyran, Antoine, 2001. "Protection, lobbying, and market structure," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 383-409, August.
    8. Bombardini, Matilde, 2008. "Firm heterogeneity and lobby participation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 329-348, July.
    9. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-François Thisse, 2021. "Agglomeration And Trade Revisited," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Firms and Workers in a Globalized World Larger Markets, Tougher Competition, chapter 3, pages 59-85, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    10. John M. de Figueiredo & Brian S. Silverman, 2002. "Academic Earmarks and the Returns to Lobbying," NBER Working Papers 9064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Hillman, Arye L, 1982. "Declining Industries and Political-Support Protectionist Motives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1180-1187, December.
    12. Stephen Ansolabehere & John M. de Figueiredo & James M. Snyder Jr, 2003. "Why is There so Little Money in U.S. Politics?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 105-130, Winter.
    13. Marc J. Melitz & Giancarlo I. P. Ottaviano, 2021. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Firms and Workers in a Globalized World Larger Markets, Tougher Competition, chapter 4, pages 87-108, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    14. Nirvikar Singh & Xavier Vives, 1984. "Price and Quantity Competition in a Differentiated Duopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 546-554, Winter.
    15. Pecorino, Paul, 2001. "Market Structure, Tariff Lobbying and the Free-Rider Problem," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 106(3-4), pages 203-220, March.
    16. Martimort David & Stole Lars, 2003. "Contractual Externalities and Common Agency Equilibria," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-40, July.
    17. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford & Schott, Peter K., 2006. "Survival of the best fit: Exposure to low-wage countries and the (uneven) growth of U.S. manufacturing plants," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 219-237, January.
    18. Bombardini, Matilde & Trebbi, Francesco, 2012. "Competition and political organization: Together or alone in lobbying for trade policy?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 18-26.
    19. de Figueiredo, John M & Silverman, Brian S, 2006. "Academic Earmarks and the Returns to Lobbying," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 597-625, October.
    20. Facchini, Giovanni & Mayda, Anna Maria & Mishra, Prachi, 2011. "Do interest groups affect US immigration policy?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 114-128, September.
    21. 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..
    22. Marianne Bertrand & Matilde Bombardini & Francesco Trebbi, 2014. "Is It Whom You Know or What You Know? An Empirical Assessment of the Lobbying Process," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(12), pages 3885-3920, December.
    23. Gawande, Kishore, 1997. "US non-tariff barriers as privately provided public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 61-81, April.
    24. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
    25. Potters, Jan & Van Winden, Frans, 1990. "Modelling political pressure as transmission of information," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 61-88, August.
    26. Tripathi Micky & Ansolabehere Stephen & Jr James M. Snyder, 2002. "Are PAC Contributions and Lobbying Linked? New Evidence from the 1995 Lobby Disclosure Act," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(2), pages 1-26, August.
    27. Giovanni Maggi & Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, 1999. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1135-1155, December.
    28. Potters, Jan & Sloof, Randolph, 1996. "Interest groups: A survey of empirical models that try to assess their influence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 403-442, November.
    29. William R. Hauk Jr, 2011. "Protection with many sellers: An Application to Legislatures with Malapportionment," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 313-344, November.
    30. Potters, Jan & van Winden, Frans, 1992. "Lobbying and Asymmetric Information," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 74(3), pages 269-292, October.
    31. Tripathi, Micky & Ansolabehere, Stephen & Snyder, James M., 2002. "Are PAC Contributions and Lobbying Linked? New Evidence from the 1995 Lobby Disclosure Act," Business and Politics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 131-155, August.
    32. Robert C. Feenstra & John Romalis & Peter K. Schott, 2002. "U.S. Imports, Exports, and Tariff Data, 1989-2001," NBER Working Papers 9387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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. Saha, Amrita, 2019. "Trade policy & lobbying effectiveness: Theory and evidence for India," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 165-192.
    2. William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln & Prachi Mishra, 2014. "The Dynamics of Firm Lobbying," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 343-379, November.
    3. Lake, James, 2015. "Revisiting the link between PAC contributions and lobbying expenditures," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 86-101.
    4. Matilde Bombardini & Francesco Trebbi, 2020. "Empirical Models of Lobbying," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 12(1), pages 391-413, August.
    5. Richard Damania & Per G. Fredriksson & Thomas Osang, 2005. "Polluters and Collective Action: Theory and Evidence," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 72(1), pages 167-185, July.
    6. Martimort, David, 2019. ""When Olson Meets Dahl": From Inefficient Groups Formation to Inefficient Policy-Making," CEPR Discussion Papers 13843, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Bombardini, Matilde, 2008. "Firm heterogeneity and lobby participation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 329-348, July.
    8. Francisco Candel-Sánchez & Juan Perote-Peña, 2018. "Endogenous market regulation in a signaling model of lobby formation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 23-47, January.
    9. Cole, Matthew T. & Lake, James & Zissimos, Ben, 2021. "Contesting an international trade agreement," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    10. Facchini, Giovanni & Mayda, Anna Maria & Mishra, Prachi, 2011. "Do interest groups affect US immigration policy?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 114-128, September.
    11. Martimort, David & Semenov, Aggey, 2008. "Ideological uncertainty and lobbying competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 456-481, April.
    12. Polk Andreas, 2020. "What do we Know About Lobbying in Germany?," Review of Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 71(1), pages 43-79, April.
    13. Richard Damania & Per Fredriksson & Thomas Osang, 2004. "Collusion, Collective Action and Protection: Theory and Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 121(3), pages 279-308, February.
    14. Tovar, Patricia, 2011. "Lobbying costs and trade policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 126-136, March.
    15. Kammerer, Hannes, 2013. "Lobbying for Subsidies with Heterogeneous Firms," VfS Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79767, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    16. Richard E. Baldwin & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2007. "Entry and Asymmetric Lobbying: Why Governments Pick Losers," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 1064-1093, September.
    17. Hillman, Arye L. & Van Long, Ngo & Soubeyran, Antoine, 2001. "Protection, lobbying, and market structure," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 383-409, August.
    18. Uysal, Pinar & Yotov, Yoto V. & Zylkin, Thomas, 2015. "Firm heterogeneity and trade-induced layoffs: An empirical investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 80-97.
    19. Imai, Susumu & Katayama, Hajime & Krishna, Kala, 2009. "Protection for sale or surge protection?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(6), pages 675-688, August.
    20. Andrey Stoyanov, 2016. "Regional Trade Agreements and Cross-border Lobbying: Empirical Evidence from the Canada–US Free Trade Agreement Negotiations," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 126-149, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Lobby formation; Collective action; Product market competition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

    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:87:y:2012:i:1:p:18-26. 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.