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Trade Policy and Antitrust: Do Consumers Matter to Legislators?


  • Robert M. Feinberg
  • Thomas A. Husted
  • Kara M. Reynolds


We provide one of the first efforts to measure the importance of consumer preferences in legislators’ trade policy decisions by estimating the degree to which the level of antitrust enforcement in the legislator’s state impacts his or her vote on free trade agreements. To the extent that antitrust and trade liberalization are both viewed as proconsumer in nature, we would expect to see a positive relationship between antitrust enforcement in their legislative district and Congressional votes in support of trade liberalization. We find evidence suggesting that consumer preferences do play a role in legislative decisions on trade policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert M. Feinberg & Thomas A. Husted & Kara M. Reynolds, 2010. "Trade Policy and Antitrust: Do Consumers Matter to Legislators?," Working Papers 2008-14, American University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:amu:wpaper:1408

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gaynor, Martin & Vogt, William B., 2000. "Antitrust and competition in health care markets," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 27, pages 1405-1487 Elsevier.
    2. Gaynor, Martin & Town, Robert J., 2011. "Competition in Health Care Markets," Handbook of Health Economics, Elsevier.
    3. Christopher Garmon & Deborah Haas-Wilson, 2011. "The Use of Multiple Control Groups and Data Sources as Validation in Retrospective Studies of Hospital Mergers," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 41-44.
    4. Gaynor, Martin, 2006. "Is vertical integration anticompetitive?: Definitely maybe (but that's not final)," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 175-180, January.
    5. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
    6. Laporte, Audrey & Windmeijer, Frank, 2005. "Estimation of panel data models with binary indicators when treatment effects are not constant over time," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 389-396, September.
    7. Deborah Haas-Wilson & Christopher Garmon, 2011. "Hospital Mergers and Competitive Effects: Two Retrospective Analyses," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 17-32.
    8. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2008. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9787111235767, March.
    9. Martha A. Starr & R. Forrest McCluer, 2014. "Prices and Quantities in Health Care Antitrust Damages," Working Papers 2014-03, American University, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item


    Free Trade Agreements; Competition Policy; Antitrust; Voting;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies

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