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For Sale: Trade Policy in Majoritarian Systems

Author

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  • Per G. Fredriksson

    (University of Louisville)

  • Xenia Matschke

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Jenny Minier

    (University of Kentucky)

Abstract

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. tariff data from 1993, and House campaign contribution data from two electoral cycles. We find evidence of a protectionist bias due to majoritarian system politics that is comparable in magnitude to the payoff from being an organized industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Per G. Fredriksson & Xenia Matschke & Jenny Minier, 2008. "For Sale: Trade Policy in Majoritarian Systems," Working papers 2008-20, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2008-20
    Note: We would like to thank Scott Baier, Josh Ederington, Jose Fernandez, Martin Gassebner, Noel Gaston, Angeliki Kourelis, Dani Rodrik and participants at the SEA meetings in Charleston for helpful comments and discussion, Alessandro Nicita for providing the import elasticity data, and Jessie Roberts for valuable research assistance. Any errors are our own.
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kishore Gawande & Usree Bandyopadhyay, 2000. "Is Protection for Sale? Evidence on the Grossman-Helpman Theory of Endogenous Protection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 139-152, February.
    2. Hiau LooiKee & Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2009. "Estimating Trade Restrictiveness Indices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 172-199, January.
    3. Xenia Matschke & Shane M. Sherlund, 2006. "Do Labor Issues Matter in the Determination of U.S. Trade Policy? An Empirical Reevaluation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 405-421, March.
    4. Marcelin Joanis, 2011. "The road to power: partisan loyalty and the centralized provision of local infrastructure," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 117-143, January.
    5. Nicola Persico & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2001. "The Provision of Public Goods under Alternative Electoral Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 225-239, March.
    6. repec:wsi:wschap:9789814569156_0009 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2005. "A Protectionist Bias in Majoritarian Politics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1239-1282.
    8. Theo Eicher & Thomas Osang, 2002. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1702-1710, December.
    9. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    10. Matschke, Xenia, 2008. "Costly revenue-raising and the case for favoring import-competing industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 143-157, January.
    11. Stephen Ansolabehere & James M. Snyder, 2006. "Party Control of State Government and the Distribution of Public Expenditures," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(4), pages 547-569, December.
    12. Giovanni Maggi & Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, 1999. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1135-1155, December.
    13. Choi, E. Kwan & Harrigan, James, 2003. "Handbook of International Trade," Staff General Research Papers Archive 11375, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    14. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Constitutional Rules and Fiscal Policy Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 25-45, March.
    15. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Roberto Perotti & Massimo Rostagno, 2002. "Electoral Systems and Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 609-657.
    16. Josh Ederington & Jenny Minier, 2008. "Reconsidering the empirical evidence on the Grossman-Helpman model of endogenous protection," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(2), pages 501-516, May.
    17. Devashish Mitra & Dimitrios D. Thomakos & Mehmet A. Ulubaşoğlu, 2016. "“Protection For Sale” In A Developing Country: Democracy Vs. Dictatorship," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Political Economy of Trade Policy Theory, Evidence and Applications, chapter 9, pages 163-174 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    Cited by:

    1. Josh Ederington & Jenny Minier, 2008. "Reconsidering the empirical evidence on the Grossman-Helpman model of endogenous protection," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(2), pages 501-516, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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