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For Sale: Trade Policy in Majoritarian Systems

  • Per G. Fredriksson

    (University of Louisville)

  • Xenia Matschke

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Jenny Minier

    (University of Kentucky)

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.

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File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/2008-20.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2008-20.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
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.
Contact details of provider: Postal: University of Connecticut 365 Fairfield Way, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063
Phone: (860) 486-4889
Fax: (860) 486-4463
Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/

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  1. 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.
  2. Xenia Matschke, 2005. "Costly Revenue-Raising and the Case for Favoring Import-Competing Industries," CESifo Working Paper Series 1502, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Marcelin Joanis, 2009. "The Road to Power: Partisan Loyalty and the Centralized Provision of Local Infrastructure," CIRANO Working Papers 2009s-46, CIRANO.
  4. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2004. "A Protectionist Bias in Majoritarian Politics," NBER Working Papers 11014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Roberto Perotti & Massimo V. Rostagno & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2001. "Electoral System and Public Spending," IMF Working Papers 01/22, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-50, September.
  7. 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.
  8. Devashish Mitra & Dimitrios D. Thomakos & Mehmet A. Ulubaşoglu, 2002. ""Protection For Sale" In A Developing Country: Democracy Vs. Dictatorship," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 497-508, August.
  9. Hiau LooiKee & Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2009. "Estimating Trade Restrictiveness Indices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 172-199, 01.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Constitutional Rules and Fiscal Policy Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 25-45, March.
  13. Matschke, Xenia N. & Sherlund, Shane M, 2003. "Do Labor Issues Matter In The Determination Of U.S. Trade Policy? An Empirical Reevaluation," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0sn637k8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  14. Alessro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, . "The Provision of Public Goods Under Alternative Electoral Incentives," Penn CARESS Working Papers b96440ba0bfa06ca550ac40aa, Penn Economics Department.
  15. Choi, E. Kwan & Harrigan, James, 2003. "Handbook of International Trade," Staff General Research Papers 11375, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  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.
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