IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/827.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Protection for Sale

Author

Listed:
  • Grossman, Gene
  • Helpman, Elhanan

Abstract

We develop a model in which special interest groups make political contributions in order to influence an incumbent government's choice of trade policy. In the political equilibrium, the interest groups bid for protection, and each group's offer is optimal given the offers of the others. The politicians maximize their own welfare, which depends on the total amount of contributions collected and on the aggregate welfare of voters. We study the structure of protection that emerges in political equilibrium and the equilibrium contributions that are made by the different industry lobby groups, and show why these groups may in some cases prefer to have the government use trade policy to transfer income rather than more efficient means. We also discuss how our framework might be extended to include endogenous formation of lobby groups, political competition between incumbents and challengers, and political outcomes in a multicountry trading system.

Suggested Citation

  • Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:827
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=827
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    2. Baldwin, Robert E., 1984. "Trade policies in developed countries," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 571-619, Elsevier.
    3. John Douglas Wilson, 1990. "Are Efficiency Improvements In Government Transfer Policies Self‐Defeating In Political Equilibrium?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 241-258, November.
    4. Hillman, Arye L, 1982. "Declining Industries and Political-Support Protectionist Motives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1180-1187, December.
    5. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Industrial policy under monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 79-102, February.
    6. Magee,Stephen P. & Brock,William A. & Young,Leslie, 1989. "Black Hole Tariffs and Endogenous Policy Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521377003.
    7. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31.
    8. Van Long, Ngo & Vousden, Neil, 1991. "Protectionist responses and declining industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 87-103, February.
    9. Jacobson, Gary C., 1978. "The Effects of Campaign Spending in Congressional Elections," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(2), pages 469-491, June.
    10. Rodrik, Dani, 1986. "Tariffs, subsidies, and welfare with endogenous policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3-4), pages 285-299, November.
    11. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1981. "Theoretical Considerations on Negotiated Tariff Adjustments," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 135-153, March.
    12. Hillman, Arye L & Ursprung, Heinrich W, 1988. "Domestic Politics, Foreign Interests, and International Trade Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 719-745, September.
    13. 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.
    14. Kym Anderson & Robert E. Baldwin, 1987. "The Political Market for Protection in Industrial Countries," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Ali M. El-Agraa (ed.), Protection, Cooperation, Integration and Development, chapter 2, pages 20-36, Palgrave Macmillan.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Richard E. Baldwin & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2007. "Entry and Asymmetric Lobbying: Why Governments Pick Losers," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 1064-1093, September.
    2. Helpman, E., 1995. "Politics and Trade Policy," Papers 30-95, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
    3. Pravin Krishna & Devashish Mitra, 2003. "Reciprocated Unilateralism in Trade Policy: An Interest-Group Approach," NBER Working Papers 9631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Rodrik, Dani, 1994. "What does the Political Economy Literature on Trade Policy (Not) Tell Us That We Ought to Know?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1039, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Weck-Hannemann, Hannelore, 1989. "Protectionism in direct democracy," Discussion Papers, Series II 79, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
    6. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 675-708, August.
    7. Nuno Limão & Arvind Panagariya, 2003. "Why is there an Anti-trade Bias in Trade Policy?," International Trade 0310003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Kishore Gawande & Pravin Krishna & Michael J. Robbins, 2006. "Foreign Lobbies and U.S. Trade Policy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 563-571, August.
    9. Yu-Fu Chen & I-Hui Cheng, 2003. "Lobbying for Protection under Uncertainty: A Real Option Approach," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 155, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
    10. Enrico Marvasi, 2013. "Protection for Sale, Monopolistic Competition and Variable Markups," Working Papers - Economics wp2013_11.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    11. Cole, Matthew T. & Lake, James & Zissimos, Ben, 2021. "Contesting an international trade agreement," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    12. Raymond Riezman & John Douglas Wilson, 2013. "Political Reform and Trade Policy," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Raymond Riezman (ed.), International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 13, pages 201-224, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    13. Dutt, Pushan & Mitra, Devashish, 2009. "Explaining Agricultural Distortion Patterns : The Roles of Ideology, Inequality, Lobbying and Public Finance," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper Series 50299, World Bank.
    14. Pao-Li Chang, 2002. "Endogenous Tariff Formation with Intra-Industry Trade," Working Papers 476, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    15. Cassing, James H. & Long, Ngo Van, 2021. "Trade in trash: A political economy approach," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    16. Andréa M. Maechler, 2000. "The Politics of Trade Liberalization in the Presence of FDI Incentives," Working Papers 00.09, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
    17. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 2000. "GATT-think," Working papers 19, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    18. Hom M Pant, 1996. "Endogenous Behaviour of the Tariff Rate in a Political Economy," International Trade 9609001, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Oct 1996.
    19. Christis G. Tombazos, 2003. "Unprotective Tariffs, Ineffective Liberalization, and Other Mysteries: An Investigation of the Endogenous Dimensions of Trade Policy Formation in Australia," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 70(1), pages 49-74, July.
    20. Nelson, Douglas, 2006. "The political economy of antidumping: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 554-590, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political Economy; Political Support; Special Interests; Structure of Protection; Tariff Formation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:827. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.