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Rent Seeking and the Welfare Cost of Trade Barriers


  • Lopez, Rigoberto A
  • Pagoulatos, Emilio


This paper estimates the potential social cost of trade barriers using the Harberger and the Tullock/Posner approaches for a sample of U.S. food and tobacco manufacturing industries. In addition, it tests the relationship between the computed welfare losses and special-interest political activity (PAC contributions). If all rents were dissipated through rent seeking, the social cost of trade barriers would be about 12.5 percent of domestic consumption and would be particularly large for sugar and milk products where quotas are the main instrument of protection. Furthermore, the results indicate that welfare losses are positively associated with industry lobbying but the strength of such association is strongly dependent on industry concentration. Copyright 1994 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Lopez, Rigoberto A & Pagoulatos, Emilio, 1994. "Rent Seeking and the Welfare Cost of Trade Barriers," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(1-2), pages 149-160, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:79:y:1994:i:1-2:p:149-60

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Gregor, 2016. "Tullock's Puzzle in Pay-and-Play Lobbying," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(3), pages 368-389, November.
    2. Lopez, Rigoberto A. & Hathie, Ibrahima, 2002. "Testing Protection For Sale In The Food Industries," 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA 19682, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    3. Toke S. Aidt, 2016. "Rent seeking and the economics of corruption," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 142-157, June.
    4. Angelos Angelopoulos & Konstantinos Angelopoulos & Spyridon Lazarakis & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2019. "The Distributional Consequences of Rent Seeking," CESifo Working Paper Series 7835, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. repec:kap:pubcho:v:178:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s11127-018-0623-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ana Rodríguez-Álvarez & Ignacio Rosal & José Baños-Pino, 2007. "The cost of strikes in the Spanish mining sector: modelling an undesirable input with a distance function," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 73-83, February.
    7. repec:kap:copoec:v:30:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s10602-019-09278-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Sanjib Bhuyan, 2000. "Corporate Political Activities and Oligopoly Welfare Loss," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 17(4), pages 411-426, December.

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