IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Entry and Asymmetric Lobbying: Why Governments Pick Losers

  • Richard E. Baldwin
  • Frédéric Robert-Nicoud

Governments frequently intervene to support domestic industries, but a surprising amount of this support goes to ailing sectors. We explain this with a lobbying model that allows for entry and sunk costs. Specifically, policy is influenced by pressure groups that incur lobbying expenses to create rents. In expanding industries, entry tends to erode such rents, but in declining industries, sunk costs rule out entry as long as the rents are not too high. This asymmetric appropriability of rents means losers lobby harder. Thus it is not that government policy picks losers, it is that losers pick government policy.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0791.

in new window

Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0791
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Brainard, S. Lael & Verdier, Thierry, 1997. "The political economy of declining industries: Senescent industry collapse revisited," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 221-237, February.
  2. Stephen Coate & Stephen Morris, . ""Policy Persistence ''," CARESS Working Papres 95-19, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  3. Anne O. Krueger, 1989. "Asymmetries in Policy Between Exportables and Import-Competing Goods," NBER Working Papers 2904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Robert E. Baldwin & Jeffrey W. Steagall, 1993. "An Analysis of Factors Influencing ITC Decisions in Antidumoing, Countervailing Duty and Safeguard Cases," NBER Working Papers 4282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-55, December.
  6. Dixit, Avinash & Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1997. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Government Policy Making," Scholarly Articles 3450061, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Grossman,G.M. & Helpman,E., 1995. "Rent Dissipation, Free Riding, and Trade Policy," Papers 31-95, Tel Aviv.
  8. Leonardo Felli & Antonio Merlo, 2006. "Endogenous Lobbying," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 180-215, 03.
  9. repec:ags:afjare:141665 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldbe & Giovanni Maggi, 1997. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 5942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Cassing, James H & Hillman, Arye L, 1986. "Shifting Comparative Advantage and Senescent Industry Collapse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 516-23, June.
  12. Devashish Mitra, 1999. "Endogenous Lobby Formation and Endogenous Protection: A Long-Run Model of Trade Policy Determination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1116-1134, December.
  13. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1987. "Perfect Equilibria in a Trade Liberalization Game," Discussion Papers 738, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  15. Richard E. Baldwin & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2007. "Protection for Sale Made Easy," CEP Discussion Papers dp0800, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  16. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  17. Van Long, Ngo & Vousden, Neil, 1991. "Protectionist responses and declining industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 87-103, February.
  18. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521362474 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Baldwin, Richard, 1988. "Hyteresis in Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 773-85, September.
  20. Rodrik, Dani, 1995. "Political economy of trade policy," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1457-1494 Elsevier.
  21. Hansen, John Mark, 1990. "Taxation and the political economy of the tariff," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(04), pages 527-551, September.
  22. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
  23. Baldwin, Richard, 1987. "Politically realistic objective functions and trade policy PROFs and tariffs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 287-290.
  24. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "Trade Liberalization and the Theory of Endogenous Protection: An Econometric Study of U.S. Import Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 138-60, February.
  25. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
  26. Robert E. Baldwin, 1982. "The Political Economy of Protectionism," NBER Chapters, in: Import Competition and Response, pages 263-292 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Industrial policy under monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 79-102, February.
  28. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Whinston, Michael D., 1987. "Coalition-Proof Nash Equilibria II. Applications," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 13-29, June.
  29. Nicolas Marceau & Michael Smart, 2002. "Corporate Lobbying and Commitment Failure in Capital Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 676, CESifo Group Munich.
  30. 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.
  31. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521377003 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2000. "Commercial Policy with Altruistic Voters," NBER Working Papers 7984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Glismann, Hans H. & Weiss, Frank D., 1980. "On the political economy of protection in Germany," Kiel Working Papers 113, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. Hillman, Arye L, 1982. "Declining Industries and Political-Support Protectionist Motives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1180-87, December.
  37. Bohara, Alok K & Kaempfer, William H, 1991. "A Test of Tariff Endogeneity in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 952-60, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0791. 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: ()

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.