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Political Institutions and Trade Protection

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  • H.J. Roelfsema

Abstract

Why do levels of trade protection differ so much across countries? Weargue that differences in electoral rules and executive powers mayplay a significant role. We develop a theoretical model and show thatcountries that have a majoritarian electoral system may be moreinclined to have a high level of trade protection. The reason is thatthese countries have fiercer competition for swing districts if comparedto countries that have a proportional electoral system. In the empiricalpart of the paper we show that countries that have a majoritarianelectoral system indeed have higher levels of protection. This result isrobust to various measures of trade protection and to an instrumentalvariables approach that takes account of the endogeneity of politicalinstitutions. We find only weak support for the claim thatpresidentialism reduces trade protection.

Suggested Citation

  • H.J. Roelfsema, 2004. "Political Institutions and Trade Protection," Working Papers 04-06, Utrecht School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:0406
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    Cited by:

    1. Kym Anderson & Gordon Rausser & Johan Swinnen, 2013. "Political Economy of Public Policies: Insights from Distortions to Agricultural and Food Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 423-477, June.
    2. Olper, Alessandro & Raimondi, Valentina, 2008. "Consitutional Rules and Agricultural Policy Outcomes," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 43870, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Mirabelle Muûls & Dimitra Petropoulou, 2013. "A swing state theory of trade protection in the Electoral College," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(2), pages 705-724, May.
    4. Balding, Christopher, 2011. "A Re-examination of the Relation between Democracy and International Trade The Case of Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 059, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Magnus Wiberg, 2014. "Comparative Trade Policy," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 410-421, May.

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    Keywords

    Trade Policy; Protection; Constitutional Political Economy; Electoral Rules;

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