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Endowment Effect and Trade Policy Preferences: Evidence from a survey on individuals

  • TOMIURA Eiichi
  • ITO Banri
  • MUKUNOKI Hiroshi
  • WAKASUGI Ryuhei

The endowment effect, established by behavioral economics, is regarded as a cause of inertia. This paper examines its effects on trade policy preferences of 10,000 individuals in Japan. People strongly influenced by the endowment effect are significantly more likely to oppose import liberalization even after controlling for the individual's characteristics including his/her risk aversion. This suggests that income compensation and insurance schemes are insufficient for expanding political support for free trade. We also confirm the significant effects of industry, occupation, income, gender, and education. Retired people tend to support import liberalization, possibly as consumers rather than producers/workers.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in its series Discussion papers with number 13009.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:13009
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  1. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 5.
  2. Anna Maria Mayda & Dani Rodrik, 2001. "Why Are Some People (and Countries) More Protectionist Than Others?," NBER Working Papers 8461, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jonathan Eaton & Gene M. Grossman, 1985. "Tariffs as Insurance: Optimal Commercial Policy When Domestic Markets Are Incomplete," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 18(2), pages 258-72, May.
  4. Bruce A., Blonigen, 2011. "Revisiting the evidence on trade policy preferences," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 129-135, September.
  5. Jens Hainmueller & Michael J. Hiscox, 2005. "Learning to Love Globalization? Education and Individual Attitudes Toward International Trade," International Trade 0505011, EconWPA.
  6. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-48, December.
  7. Scheve, Kenneth F. & Slaughter, Matthew J., 2001. "What determines individual trade-policy preferences?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 267-292, August.
  8. Tovar, Patricia, 2009. "The effects of loss aversion on trade policy: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 154-167, June.
  9. Caroline Freund & Caglar Ozden, 2008. "Trade Policy and Loss Aversion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1675-91, September.
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