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The political economy of trade and migration: evidence from the US Congress

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  • Paola Conconi
  • Giovanni Facchini
  • Max F. Steinhardt
  • Maurizio Zanardi

Abstract

We systematically examine the drivers of U.S. congressmen's votes on trade and migration reforms since the 1970's. Standard trade theory suggests that reforms that lower barriers to goods and migrants should have similar distributional effects, hurting low-skilled U.S. workers while benefiting high-skilled workers. In line with this prediction, we find that House members representing more skilled-labor abundant districts are more likely to support both trade and migration liberalization. Still, important differences exist: Democrats favor trade reforms less than Republicans, while the opposite is true for immigration reforms; welfare state considerations and network effects shape support for immigration, but not for trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Paola Conconi & Giovanni Facchini & Max F. Steinhardt & Maurizio Zanardi, 2018. "The political economy of trade and migration: evidence from the US Congress," CEP Discussion Papers dp1564, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1564
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The political economy of migration (the US)
      by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2013-01-14 07:53:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Mayda, Anna Maria & Peri, Giovanni & Steingress, Walter, 2015. "Immigration to the U.S.: A problem for the Republicans or the Democrats?," CEPR Discussion Papers 11001, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Olivier Bargain & Victor Stephane & Jérôme Valette, 2021. "Another Brick in the Wall. Immigration and Electoral Preferences: Direct Evidence from State Ballots," Working Papers hal-03187855, HAL.
    3. Giovanni Facchini & Tommaso Frattini & Cora Signorotto, 2013. "Mind What Your Voters Read: Media Exposure and International Economic Policy Making," Development Working Papers 358, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    4. Dreher, Axel & Langlotz, Sarah & Matzat, Johannes & Mayda, Anna Maria & Parsons, Chris, 2020. "Immigration, Political Ideologies and the Polarization of American Politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 15587, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Lake, James & Millimet, Daniel L., 2016. "An empirical analysis of trade-related redistribution and the political viability of free trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 156-178.
    6. Casarico, Alessandra & Facchini, Giovanni & Frattini, Tommaso, 2018. "What drives the legalization of immigrants? Evidence from IRCA," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 258-273.
    7. Yi Che & Yi Lu & Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott & Zhigang Tao, 2016. "Does Trade Liberalization with China Influence U.S. Elections?," NBER Working Papers 22178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Bellani, Luna & Fabella, Vigile Marie, 2018. "Upward Income Mobility and Legislator Support for Education Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 11324, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Julian S. Leppin & Stefan Reitz, 2016. "The Role of a Changing Market Environment for Credit Default Swap Pricing," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(3), pages 209-223, July.
    10. Anna Maria Mayda & Giovanni Peri & Walter Steingress, 2018. "The Political Impact of Immigration: Evidence from the United States," NBER Working Papers 24510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Lake, James, 2015. "Revisiting the link between PAC contributions and lobbying expenditures," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 86-101.
    12. repec:smu:ecowpa:1405 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Vöpel, Henning, 2013. "A Zidane clustering theorem: Why top players tend to play in one team and how the competitive balance can be restored," HWWI Research Papers 141, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    14. Malcolm, Michael, 2017. "Do local exports impact congressional voting on free trade agreements?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 31-34.
    15. Ben G. Li & Yi Lu & Pasquale Sgro & Xing Xu, 2020. "Trump, China, and the Republicans," Discussion Papers 2020-26, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    16. Bräuninger, Michael, 2014. "Tax sovereignty and feasibility of international regulations for tobacco tax policies," HWWI Research Papers 152, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    trade reforms; immigration reforms; roll-call votes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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