IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Why "Buy American" is a Bad Idea but Politicians still Like it

  • Mario Larch
  • Wolfgang Lechthaler

When the world economy was recently hit by a severe recession, governments all over the world reacted by initiating stimulus packages. Some countries (among them, most notably, China and the US) tried to put special emphasis on their home industries by including “Buy local” clauses into the stimulus package. By analyzing the dynamics of transitory changes of trade barriers as a short-run response to an economic downturn, we show that beggar-thy-neighbor policies do not work. We then come up with two rationales that help to understand why countries nevertheless consider protectionism to be a good response to a recession: (i) the lobbying of domestic, non-exporting firms, and (ii) the relationship between vulnerability, the degree of openness and loss aversion of consumers.

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 CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3207.

in new window

Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3207
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Poschingerstrasse 5, 81679 Munich

Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2006. "Trade Openness and Volatility," Development Working Papers 219, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  2. Pol Antràs & Ricardo J. Caballero, 2007. "Trade and Capital Flows: A Financial Frictions Perspective," NBER Working Papers 13241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ghironi, Fabio, 2006. "Macroeconomic interdependence under incomplete markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 428-450, December.
  4. J Bradford Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 2001. "Why Some Firms Export," Working Papers 01-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  5. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "Editorial in "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2004. "International Trade and Macroeconomic Dynamics with Heterogeneous Firms," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 599, Boston College Department of Economics.
  8. Timothy Dunne & Mark J. Roberts & Larry Samuelson, 1989. "The Growth and Failure of U. S. Manufacturing Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 671-698.
  9. Romain Rancière & Aaron Tornell & Frank Westermann, 2002. "Systemic crises and growth," Economics Working Papers 854, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2004.
  10. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
  11. Albuquerque, Rui & Rebelo, Sergio, 2000. "On the dynamics of trade reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 21-47, June.
  12. Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Gross job creation, gross job destruction and employment reallocation," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  13. Eric J. Bartelsman & Mark Doms, 2000. "Understanding productivity: lessons from longitudinal microdata," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "Learning-by-Exporting" Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," NBER Working Papers 5715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. World Bank & International Monetary Fund, 2009. "Global Monitoring Report 2009 : A Development Emergency," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2625, November.
  16. Jiri Popiera & Jan Bruha, 2007. "Inquiries on Dynamics of Transition Economy Convergence in a Two-Country Model," 2007 Meeting Papers 587, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern01-1, June.
  18. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J & Kydland, Finn E, 1992. "International Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 745-75, August.
  19. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jeffrey J. Schott, 2009. "Buy American: Bad for Jobs, Worse for Reputation," Policy Briefs PB09-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  20. Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth S. Rogoff (ed.), 2001. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262523140, December.
  21. Leamer, Edward E., 1980. "Welfare computations and the optimal staging of tariff reductions in models with adjustment costs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 21-36, February.
  22. Furusawa, Taiji & Lai, Edwin L. -C., 1999. "Adjustment costs and gradual trade liberalization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 333-361, December.
  23. Bacchetta, Philippe & Dellas, Harris, 1997. "Firm Restructuring and the Optimal Speed of Trade Reform," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 291-306, April.
  24. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-64, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Economic Logic blog

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3207. 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: (Klaus Wohlrabe)

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.