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Free Trade Aggreements and the Consolidation of Democracy

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  • Xuepeng Liu
  • Emanuel Ornelas

Abstract

We study the relationship between participation in free trade agreements (FTAs) and the sustainability of democracy. Our model shows that FTAs can critically reduce the incentive of authoritarian groups to seek power by destroying protectionist rents, thus making democracies last longer. This gives governments in unstable democracies an extra motive to form FTAs. Hence, greater democratic instability induces governments to boost their FTA commitments. In a dataset with 116 countries over 1960-2007, we find robust support for these predictions. They help to rationalize the rapid simultaneous growth of regionalism and of worldwide democratization since the late 1980s.

Suggested Citation

  • Xuepeng Liu & Emanuel Ornelas, 2013. "Free Trade Aggreements and the Consolidation of Democracy," CEP Discussion Papers dp1184, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1184
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    Cited by:

    1. Xuepeng Liu & Emanuel Ornelas, 2014. "Free Trade Agreements and the Consolidation of Democracy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 29-70, April.
    2. Crivelli, Pramila, 2016. "Regionalism and falling external protection in high and low tariff members," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 70-84.
    3. Rotunno, Lorenzo, 2016. "Political stability and trade agreements: Evidence for ‘endgame FTAs’," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 133-148.
    4. Hinz, Julian, 2017. "The ties that bind: Geopolitical motivations for economic integration," Kiel Working Papers 2085, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. Caleb Stroup & Ben Zissimos, 2017. "Pampered Bureaucracy, Political Stability and Trade Integration," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 425-450, August.
    6. Kangni Kpodar & Patrick Imam, 2016. "Does a Regional Trade Agreement Lessen or Worsen Growth Volatility? An Empirical Investigation," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 949-979, November.
    7. Alecia Waite Cassidy & Edward Tower & Xiaolu Wang, 2015. "Manufacturing Fetishism: The Neo-Mercantilist Preoccupation with Protecting Manufacturing," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: THE REGION AND TRADE New Analytical Directions, chapter 6, pages 137-175 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    8. repec:eee:inecon:v:109:y:2017:i:c:p:85-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Baccini, Leonardo & Dür, Andreas & Elsig, Manfred, 2015. "The politics of trade agreement design: revisiting the depth-flexibility nexus," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 62303, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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    11. Aditya Rangga Yogatama & Fithra Faisal Hastiadi, 2015. "The Role of Democracy and Governance in the Enhancement of Indonesian Exports to the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Countries," Working Papers in Economics and Business 201504, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia, revised Jul 2015.
    12. Kyle Bagwell & Chad P. Bown & Robert W. Staiger, 2016. "Is the WTO Passé?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1125-1231, December.
    13. Emanuel Ornelas, 2016. "Special and Differential Treatment for Developing Countries," CEP Discussion Papers dp1415, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    14. Katerina Gradeva & Dany Jaimovich, 2014. "Multilateral determinants of regionalism revisited," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 163-203, June.
    15. Zissimos, Ben, 2017. "A theory of trade policy under dictatorship and democratization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 85-101.
    16. Campos, Nauro F & Coricelli, Fabrizio & Moretti, Luigi, 2015. "Norwegian Rhapsody? The Political Economy Benefits of Regional Integration," IZA Discussion Papers 9098, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer & Mathias Thoenig, 2012. "The Geography of Conflicts and Regional Trade Agreements," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 1-35, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Regionalism; rent destruction; political regimes; trade liberalization;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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