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Trade Policy Making in a Model of Legislative Bargaining

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  • Levent Celik
  • Bilgehan Karabay
  • John McLaren

Abstract

In democracies, trade policy is the result of interactions among many agents with different agendas. In accordance with this observation, we construct a dynamic model of legislative trade policy-making in the realm of distributive politics. An economy consists of different sectors, each of which is concentrated in one or more electoral districts. Each district is represented by a legislator in the Congress. Legislative process is modeled as a multilateral sequential bargaining game à la Baron and Ferejohn (1989). Some surprising results emerge: bargaining can be welfare-worsening for all participants; legislators may vote for bills that make their constituents worse off; identical industries will receive very different levels of tariff. The results pose a challenge to empirical work, since equilibrium trade policy is a function not only of economic fundamentals but also of political variables at the time of congressional negotiations - some of them random realizations of mixed bargaining strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Levent Celik & Bilgehan Karabay & John McLaren, 2011. "Trade Policy Making in a Model of Legislative Bargaining," NBER Working Papers 17262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17262
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Levent Celik & Bilgehan Karabay & John McLaren, 2015. "When Is It Optimal to Delegate: The Theory of Fast-Track Authority," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 347-389, August.
    2. Celik, Levent & Karabay, Bilgehan & McLaren, John, 2013. "Trade policy-making in a model of legislative bargaining," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 179-190.
    3. Levent Celik & Bilgehan Karabay, 2016. "Veto players and equilibrium uniqueness in the Baron–Ferejohn model," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 81(1), pages 33-52, June.
    4. Levent Celik & Bilgehan Karabay, 2011. "A Note on Equilibrium Uniqueness in the Baron-Ferejohn Model," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp440, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    5. Levent Celik & Bilgehan Karabay & John McLaren, 2018. "Fast-Track Authority: A Hold-Up Interpretation," NBER Working Papers 24427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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