Learning to Act on World Trade. Preference Formation of Large Firms in the United States and the European Union
Lobbying by economic actors constitutes a central element of a large part of the literature on trade policy-making. However, it is mainly considered as “input” into the political system, which then aggregates the demand of different societal interests. As such inputs, the preferences of economic actors are often simply deduced from economic theory. This paper raises doubts about the usefulness of this analytical parsimony and tries to distinguish more clearly between stable interests, preferences and strategic choices. In particular, it suggests a model that clarifies how abstract interests are translated into concrete policy choices. By examining the lobbying carried out by service providers in the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) in telecommunications and air transport, it then shows that the deduction of trade policy preferences from economic theory does not account well for the general support of multilateral trade liberalization by EU service providers. In particular, changes in identity, causal beliefs and strategic environments in the US and the EU create a variety of lobbying choices that goes beyond the material incentives of trade liberalization. By studying the learning process and the constraints on lobbying imposed by political institutions, the paper suggests that even the political preferences of strong economic actors are sometimes more appropriately dealt with as endogenous to the trade policy process.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- repec:cup:apsrev:v:88:y:1994:i:02:p:384-396_09 is not listed on IDEAS
- Emiliano Grossman, 2003. "Bringing Politics Back In:Rethinking the Role of Economic Interest Groups in European Integration," Les Cahiers européens de Sciences Po 2, Centre d'études européennes (CEE) at Sciences Po, Paris.
- Chase, Kerry A., 2003. "Economic Interests and Regional Trading Arrangements: The Case of NAFTA," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(01), pages 137-174, December.
- Robert H. Bates & Avner Greif & Margaret Levi & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 1998. "Analytic Narratives," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 6355.
- Holmes, Peter & Young, Alasdair R., 2002. "Liberalizing and Re-Regulating Telecommunications in Europe: A Common Framework and Persistent Differences," HWWA Discussion Papers 159, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
- Eising, Rainer, 2002. "Policy Learning in Embedded Negotiations: Explaining EU Electricity Liberalization," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(01), pages 85-120, December.
- repec:cup:apsrev:v:81:y:1987:i:01:p:3-21_19 is not listed on IDEAS
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/8529. 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: (Spire @ Sciences Po Library)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.