Preferences for Protectionism: Do economic factors really matter?
A common scenario for international commerce is the existence of restrictions on free trade,even when the majority of economists agree on the benefits of it, whatever the country’s size or whatever the country’s economic development. In contexts where politicians offer different policy options and voters demand them based on their individual preferences, one may ask what determines individuals preferences on trade policy; which economic, cultural, social and elements shape them. Our goal in this paper is to address this issue for an heterogeneous sample of 34 countries which includes developed and developing countries and small and big ones. In this paper we use data from the 2003 International Social Survey Program (ISSP). Based on an ordered probit model, we conclude that elements such as religion, political preferences, and nationalism, as well as demographic characteristics and country performance, have a significant impact on trade policy preferences.
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