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Protection for Free? The Political Economy of U.S. Tariff Suspensions

  • Ludema, Rodney D
  • Mayda, Anna Maria
  • Mishra, Prachi

This paper studies the political influence of individual firms on Congressional decisions to suspend tariffs on U.S. imports of intermediate goods. We develop a model in which firms influence the government by transmitting information about the value of protection, via costless messages (cheap-talk) and costly messages (lobbying). We estimate our model using firm-level data on tariff suspension bills and lobbying expenditures from 1999-2006, and find that indeed verbal opposition by import-competing firms, with no lobbying, significantly reduces the probability of a suspension being granted. In addition, lobbying expenditures by proponent and opponent firms sway this probability in opposite directions.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7926.

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Date of creation: Jul 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7926
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  1. Bombardini, Matilde & Trebbi, Francesco, 2012. "Competition and political organization: Together or alone in lobbying for trade policy?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 18-26.
  2. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
  3. Gawande, Kishore & Maloney, William & Montes-Rojas, Gabriel, 2009. "Foreign informational lobbying can enhance tourism: Evidence from the Caribbean," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 267-275, November.
  4. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda & Prachi Mishra, 2009. "Do Interest Groups affect US Immigration Policy?," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0904, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  5. Gawande, Kishore & Krishna, Pravin & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2009. "Lobbying competition over trade policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 7305, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Costinot, Arnaud, 2008. "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: A "New" Perspective on Protectionism," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt1cp9749b, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  7. Kishore Gawande & Pravin Krishna & Michael J. Robbins, 2004. "Foreign Lobbies and US Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 10205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ludema, Rodney D & Mayda, Anna Maria, 2005. "Do Countries Free Ride on MFN?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5160, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Omer Gokcekus & Amber Barth, 2007. "Political economy of the U.S. temporary duty suspension program: An empirical note," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 131(3), pages 345-350, June.
  10. Susumu Imai & Hajime Katayama & Kala Krishna, 2008. "Is Protection Really for Sale? A Survey and Directions for Future Research," NBER Working Papers 13899, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Dutt, Pushan & Mitra, Devashish, 2002. "Endogenous trade policy through majority voting: an empirical investigation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 107-133, October.
  12. Theo Eicher & Thomas Osang, 2002. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1702-1710, December.
  13. 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.
  14. Josh Ederington & Jenny Minier, 2008. "Reconsidering the empirical evidence on the Grossman-Helpman model of endogenous protection," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(2), pages 501-516, May.
  15. 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.
  16. Chen, Hui & Parsley, David & Yang, Ya-wen, 2010. "Corporate Lobbying and Financial Performance," MPRA Paper 21114, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Milyo Jeffrey & Primo David & Groseclose Timothy, 2000. "Corporate PAC Campaign Contributions in Perspective," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-15, April.
  18. Christian Broda & Nuno Limao & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "Optimal Tariffs and Market Power: The Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2032-65, December.
  19. Pinsky, Laura & Tower, Edward, 1995. "Temporary duty suspension in the United States," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 17-36.
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