IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Trade policy opinions at the state level


  • Cletus C. Coughlin


Despite economists' nearly universal support for free trade policies, the general public has serious reservations about free trade. To understand this opposition, one must understand the preferences of individuals as they relate to the policy choices of policymakers. Ideally, one would like to know how these preferences differ across regions because legislators who represent their constituents in the U.S. Congress cast the actual votes on trade policies. The present study produces estimates by state of trade preferences linked directly to individual preferences. ; Scheve and Slaughter (2001a) found that the lower the skill level of a worker, the stronger the support for additional trade restrictions. I generate estimates by state for 1992 and 1996 using Scheve and Slaughter's estimates. The estimates are generated in two steps. First, an average level of educational attainment for each state is constructed. Second, this educational attainment variable is inserted into Scheve and Slaughter's estimate of the relationship between educational attainment and an individual's support for additional trade restrictions to produce an average probability of state support for additional trade restrictions. ; Generally speaking, states in the South have the highest levels of support for additional trade restrictions. Support for additional trade restrictions is lower in 1996 than in 1992. A verdict on the usefulness of these estimates has yet to be delivered; however, in the context of voting on NAFTA by U.S. Senators the estimates for 1992 yield plausible results.

Suggested Citation

  • Cletus C. Coughlin, 2001. "Trade policy opinions at the state level," Working Papers 2001-006, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2001-006

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nipoli Kamdar & Jorge Gonzalez, 1998. "An empirical analysis of the U.S. Senate vote on NAFTA and GATT," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 4(2), pages 105-114, May.
    2. John A. C. Conybeare & Mark Zinkula, 1996. "Who Voted Against the NAFTA? Trade Unions Versus Free Trade," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 1-12, January.
    3. Thorbecke, Willem, 1997. "Explaining House Voting on the North American Free Trade Agreement," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 92(3-4), pages 231-242, September.
    4. 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 952-960, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    International trade ; Free trade ; North American Free Trade Agreement;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:fip:fedlwp:2001-006. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kathy Cosgrove). General contact details of provider: .

    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 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.