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Micro-foundations of individual preferences for protectionism in Canada and Uruguay


  • Natalia Melgar

    (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)


Even when the majority of economists agree on the benefits of free trade, everywhere we turn to,trade is restricted. In contexts where politicians offer different policy options and voters demand them based on their individual preferences, one may ask what determines personal preferences on trade policy; which economic, cultural, social elements shape them. The goal of this paper is to answer these questions in the case of two different economies: Canada and Uruguay. The data source is the module on National Identity (2003) which was carried out in accordance with the International Social Survey Program. Based on probit models, the main conclusion of this paper is that the evidence does not support the conclusions on preference formation of the Hecksher-Ohlin trade model, while elements such as religion, political preferences, and nationalism, as well as demographic characteristics, have a significant impact on trade policy preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Natalia Melgar, 2007. "Micro-foundations of individual preferences for protectionism in Canada and Uruguay," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1707, Department of Economics - dECON.
  • Handle: RePEc:ude:wpaper:1707

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. kishore gawande & pravin krishna, 2005. "The Political Economy of Trade Policy: Empirical Approaches," International Trade 0503003, EconWPA.
    2. Mayda, Anna Maria & Rodrik, Dani, 2005. "Why are some people (and countries) more protectionist than others?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1393-1430, August.
    3. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "People's opium? Religion and economic attitudes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 225-282, January.
    4. Scheve, Kenneth F. & Slaughter, Matthew J., 2001. "What determines individual trade-policy preferences?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 267-292, August.
    5. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57.
    6. K. H. O'Rourke & R. Sinnott, 2001. "The Determinants of Individual Trade Policy Preferences: International Survey Evidence," CEG Working Papers 20016, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item


    Preferences; micro-foundations; protectionism; rationality; ISSP;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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