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Task Routineness and Trade Policy Preferences

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  • Bruce A. Blonigen
  • Jacob McGrew

Abstract

Understanding the formation of individual trade policy preferences is a fundamental input into the modeling of trade policy outcomes. Surprisingly, past studies have found mixed evidence that various labor market and industry attributes of workers affect their trade policy preferences, even though recent studies have found that trade policy can have substantial impacts on workers' incomes. This paper provides the first analysis of the extent to which task routineness affects trade policy preferences using survey data from the American National Election Studies (ANES). We find substantial evidence that greater task routineness leads workers to be much more supportive of import restrictions, consistent with recent evidence on how trade openness puts downward pressure on employment and wages for workers whose occupations involve routine tasks. In fact, other than education levels, task routineness is the only labor market attribute that displays a robust correlation with individuals' stated trade policy preferences. We also provide evidence that there are some significant interactions between the economic and non-economic factors in our study. For example, women's trade policy views are much more invariant to their labor market attributes than men.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce A. Blonigen & Jacob McGrew, 2013. "Task Routineness and Trade Policy Preferences," NBER Working Papers 19468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19468
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    1. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    2. Mayda, Anna Maria & Rodrik, Dani, 2005. "Why are some people (and countries) more protectionist than others?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1393-1430, August.
    3. David Hummels & Rasmus J?rgensen & Jakob Munch & Chong Xiang, 2014. "The Wage Effects of Offshoring: Evidence from Danish Matched Worker-Firm Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(6), pages 1597-1629, June.
    4. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1978-1997, December.
    5. 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.
    6. K. H. O'Rourke & R. Sinnott, 2001. "The Determinants of Individual Trade Policy Preferences: International Survey Evidence," CEG Working Papers 20016, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    7. Bruce A., Blonigen, 2011. "Revisiting the evidence on trade policy preferences," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 129-135, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ito, Banri & Mukunoki, Hiroshi & Tomiura, Eiichi & Wakasugi, Ryuhei, 2019. "Trade policy preferences and cross-regional differences: Evidence from individual-level data of Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 99-109.
    2. Mauro Caselli & Andrea Fracasso & Silvio Traverso, 2020. "Globalization and electoral outcomes: Evidence from Italy," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(1), pages 68-103, March.
    3. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui, 2017. "Trade policy preference, childhood sporting experience, and informal school curriculum: Examination from the viewpoint of behavioral economics," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 17-25, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.
    4. Jäkel, Ina C. & Smolka, Marcel, 2017. "Trade policy preferences and factor abundance," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 1-19.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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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