The Sources of Protectionist Drift in Representative Democracies
We analyze a two country-two goods model of international trade in which citizens in each country differ by their specific factor endowments. The trade policy in each country is set by the politician who has been elected by the citizens in a previous stage. Due to a delegation effect citizens generally favor candidates who are more protectionist than they are. The (multiple) one candidate per country-equilibria exhibit a ''protectionist drift'' owing to this delegation effect and an abstention effect.
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