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Endogenous Lobby Formation and Endogenous Protection: A Long-Run Model of Trade Policy Determination

In: The Political Economy of Trade Policy Theory, Evidence and Applications

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  • DEVASHISH MITRA

Abstract

This paper provides a theory of lobby formation within a framework in which trade policy is determined through political contributions. Under certain conditions, free trade turns out to be an equilibrium outcome either when the government has a high affinity for political contributions or when it cares a great deal about social welfare. Moreover, greater inequality in asset distribution results in a greater number of lobbies and, in most cases, more protection for each of these lobbies. Furthermore, industries with higher levels of capital stock, fewer capitalists, more inelastic demand, and smaller geographical dispersion are the ones that get organized.

Suggested Citation

  • 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..
  • Handle: RePEc:wsi:wschap:9789814569156_0001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    2. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    3. Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "Politics and Trade Policy," Foerder Institute for Economic Research Working Papers 275606, Tel-Aviv University > Foerder Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Peleg, Bezalel & Whinston, Michael D., 1987. "Coalition-Proof Nash Equilibria I. Concepts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-12, June.
    5. Ronald Findlay & Stanislaw Wellisz, 1982. "Endogenous Tariffs, the Political Economy of Trade Restrictions, and Welfare," NBER Chapters, in: Import Competition and Response, pages 223-244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Avinash Dixit, 1996. "Special-Interest Lobbying and Endogenous Commodity Taxation," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 375-388, Fall.
    7. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political Economy; Protection; Trade Policy; Tariffs; Subsidies; Reciprocal Trade Liberalization; Unilateral Trade Liberalization; Unilateralism; Reciprocity; Lobbying; Median Voter Models;

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General
    • F6 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization

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