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Log-Rolling and Economic Interests in the Passage of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff

  • Douglas A. Irwin
  • Randall S. Kroszner

We analyze Senate roll-call votes concerning tariffs on specific goods in order to understand the economic and political factors influencing the passage of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930. Contrary to recent studies emphasizing the partisan nature of the Congressional votes, our reading of the debates in the Congressional Record suggests that the final, party-line voting masks a rich vote- trading dynamic. We estimate a logit model of specific tariff votes that permits us to identify (a) important influences of specific producer beneficiaries in each Senator's constituency and (b) log- rolling coalitions among Senators with otherwise unrelated constituency interests which succeeded in raising tariff rates.

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Paper provided by Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State in its series University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State with number 124.

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Date of creation: 1996
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Handle: RePEc:fth:chices:124
Contact details of provider: Postal: UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, CENTER FOR STUDY OF THE ECONOMY AND THE STATE, 1101 E. 58TH STREET CHICAGO ILLINOIS 60637.
Web page: http://research.chicagobooth.edu/economy/
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  1. Callahan, Colleen M. & McDonald, Judith A. & O'Brien, Anthony Patrick, 1994. "Who Voted For Smoot-Hawley?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(03), pages 683-690, September.
  2. Barry Eichengreen, 1986. "The Political Economy of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff," NBER Working Papers 2001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Stratmann, Thomas, 1995. "Logrolling in the U.S. Congress," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(3), pages 441-56, July.
  4. Douglas A. Irwin, 1996. "The Smoot-Hawley Tariff: A Quantitative Assessment," NBER Working Papers 5509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Stratmann, Thomas, 1992. "The Effects of Logrolling on Congressional Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1162-76, December.
  6. Peltzman, Sam, 1985. "An Economic Interpretation of the History of Congressional Voting in the Twentieth Century," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 656-75, September.
  7. Kalt, Joseph P & Zupan, Mark A, 1984. "Capture and Ideology in the Economic Theory of Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 279-300, June.
  8. Meltzer, Allan H., 1976. "Monetary and other explanations of the start of the great depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 455-471, November.
  9. Peltzman, Sam, 1984. "Constituent Interest and Congressional Voting," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 181-210, April.
  10. Hayford, Marc & Pasurka, Carl Jr., 1992. "The political economy of the Fordney-McCumber and Smoot-Hawley tariff acts," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 30-50, January.
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