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The Politics of Trade Liberalization in the Presence of FDI Incentives

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    This paper examines whether inward FDI incentives can soften the political constraints associated with trade liberalization. After introducing the role of capital inflows into the political economy of trade framework pioneered by Grossman and Helpman (1994, 1995 and 1996), the paper traces the e¤ects of FDI incentives on the politically sustainable equilibrium level of trade protection. In particular, the paper shows that FDI incentives reduce the politically sustainable level of trade protection when capital-owners are politically organized, while they inhibit the process of trade liberalization when labor is the main influential political force. Welfare implications are also considered.

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    Paper provided by Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee in its series Working Papers with number 00.09.

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    Length: 40 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2000
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:szg:worpap:0009
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    1. Ethier, W.J. & Markusen, J.R., 1993. "Multinational Firms, Technology Diffusion and Trade," ISER Discussion Paper 0303, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    2. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 21-92, Tel Aviv.
    3. Lipsey, Robert E & Weiss, Merle Yahr, 1984. "Foreign Production and Exports of Individual Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(2), pages 304-08, May.
    4. Markusen, James R. & Rutherford, Thomas F. & Hunter, Linda, 1995. "Trade liberalization in a multinational-dominated industry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 95-117, February.
    5. Dixit, Avinash & Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1997. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Government Policy Making," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 752-69, August.
    6. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1993. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," Papers 1-93, Tel Aviv.
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    9. Michael Devereux & Harold Freeman, 1995. "The impact of tax on foreign direct investment: Empirical evidence and the implications for tax integration schemes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 85-106, February.
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    14. Michael Devereux & Rachel Griffith, 1996. "Taxes and the location of production: evidence from a panel of US multinationals," IFS Working Papers W96/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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    17. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-85, December.
    18. Massimo Motta & George Norman, 1993. "Does economic integration cause foreign direct investment?," Economics Working Papers 28, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    19. Blonigen, Bruce A & Figlio, David N, 1998. "Voting for Protection: Does Direct Foreign Investment Influence Legislator Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 1002-14, September.
    20. James R. Markusen, 1995. "The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 169-189, Spring.
    21. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldbe & Giovanni Maggi, 1997. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 5942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. James R. Markusen, 1997. "Trade versus Investment Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 6231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Rama, Martin & Tabellim, Guido, 1998. "Lobbying by capital and labor over trade and labor market policies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1295-1316, July.
    24. Ronald Findlay & Stanislaw Wellisz, 1982. "Endogenous Tariffs, the Political Economy of Trade Restrictions, and Welfare," NBER Chapters, in: Import Competition and Response, pages 223-244 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Mintz, Jack M, 1990. "Corporate Tax Holidays and Investment," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(1), pages 81-102, January.
    26. Brainard, S Lael, 1997. "An Empirical Assessment of the Proximity-Concentration Trade-off between Multinational Sales and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 520-44, September.
    27. Bhagwati, Jagdish N & Dinopoulos, Elias & Wong, Kar-yiu, 1992. "Quid Pro Quo Foreign Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 186-90, May.
    28. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
    29. Hillman, Arye L, 1982. "Declining Industries and Political-Support Protectionist Motives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1180-87, December.
    30. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1986. "The Multinational Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 805-33, November.
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