Subsidizing Rent-Seeking: Antidumping Protection and the Byrd Amendment
Theoretical comparisons of the welfare consequences of tariffs, subsidies and import licenses have relied on the assumption that firms reap no private benefits from the imposition of a tariff. This paper conducts an empirical analysis of whether a recent change in U.S. antidumping law known as the Byrd Amendment bestows private benefits to firms lobbying for tariff protection and, thus, increases the level of rent-seeking in the United States. The results provide strong evidence that industries have chosen to lobby for more tariff protection, or filed more antidumping petitions, since passage of the Byrd Amendment. However, there is less evidence that the number of firms filing these petitions increased under the law. This suggests that the Byrd Amendment only partially alleviates the incentive to free-ride.
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