Trade Policy in Majoritarian Systems: The Case of the U.S
We provide a theory of trade policy determination that incorporates the protectionist bias inherent in majoritarian systems, suggested by Grossman and Helpman (2005). The prediction that emerges is that in majoritarian systems, the majority party favors industries located disproportionately in majority districts. We test this prediction using U.S. data on tariffs, Congressional campaign contributions, and industry location in districts represented by the majority party over the period 1989-97. We find evidence of a significant majority bias in trade policy: the benefit to being represented by the majority party appears at least as large in magnitude as the benefit to lobbying.
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