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Rents, Votes, and Protection: Explaining the Structure of Trade Barriers Across Industries

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  • Scott Bradford

    (Brigham Young University)

Abstract

This paper develops a model of the structure of protection across industries. We model five types of agents: policy makers, producers, importers, workers, and consumers. The model implies that protection increases with workforce size and decreases with lobbying costs. The effects of both output and imports are ambiguous. We test the model with US data, including new measures of protection, and confirm most of its implications. We do not find evidence that protection increases with output. The empirical results also suggest that policy makers weight campaign contributions about 12 per cent more heavily than national income.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott Bradford, 2000. "Rents, Votes, and Protection: Explaining the Structure of Trade Barriers Across Industries," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1717, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1717
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