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Trade policy & lobbying effectiveness: Theory and evidence for India

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  • Saha, Amrita

Abstract

How do we understand differences in effectiveness in lobbying for trade policy? To explain lobbying effectiveness, I introduce a new measure into Grossman and Helpman's (1994, American Economic Review 84: 833–850) model of protection-for-sale (PFS). Differences in effectiveness are explained on the basis that some groups make a better case for protection by sending a signal regarding information they possess and that is considered by policy makers before setting trade policies. I begin by estimating a standard PFS model for India using a measure of political organization, a common approach in the empirical literature on PFS. To overcome the need to define such a binary political organization variable, I then use panel data to estimate the new measure of relative lobbying effectiveness. For the most effective sectors, a high output to import ratio translates into higher trade protection; for the least effective sectors, higher output to import ratio translates into lower trade protection. Examining some of the political economy influences on lobbying effectiveness, I find that producing similar goods reduces the positive effect of geographical proximity on effectiveness. Hence, within a sector, firms in close proximity and producing similar goods compete to lobby rather than cooperating or free-riding.

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  • Saha, Amrita, 2019. "Trade policy & lobbying effectiveness: Theory and evidence for India," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 165-192.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:56:y:2019:i:c:p:165-192
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2018.08.004
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    3. Timini, Jacopo, 2020. "Staying dry on Spanish wine: The rejection of the 1905 Spanish-Italian trade agreement," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    4. Klaus Gründler & Arye L. Hillman, 2021. "Ambiguous Protection," CESifo Working Paper Series 8888, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Lobbying effectiveness; Trade policy; India;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F5 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy

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