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The Returns from Rent-Seeking: Campaign Contributions, Firm Subsidies, and the Byrd Amendment

Author

Listed:
  • Benjamin Liebman

    (St. Joseph's University)

  • Kara M. Olson

    (American University)

Abstract

This paper examines Congressional support of the Byrd Amendment, a new antidumping law that directs the U.S. Customs Service to distribute collected duties to protected firms. A critical feature of the Byrd Amendment is that it produces a highly transparent measure of how much each firm is rewarded for its rent-seeking efforts to secure the bill’s passage, specifically the dollar value its Byrd disbursement. Therefore, this policy provides researchers with a unique setting in which to study the link between campaign contributions, Congressional behavior, and the subsequent financial returns to firms. Our empirical results show that campaign contributions from potential beneficiaries increased the likelihood that lawmakers would sponsor the Byrd Amendment. We also show that political contributions from the law’s beneficiaries increased with the rewards that they expected to receive, although not by as much as predicted by some political economy models of trade policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Liebman & Kara M. Olson, 2004. "The Returns from Rent-Seeking: Campaign Contributions, Firm Subsidies, and the Byrd Amendment," International Trade 0408003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpit:0408003
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 17
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Baldwin, Robert E & Magee, Christopher S, 2000. "Is Trade Policy for Sale? Congressional Voting on Recent Trade Bills," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 79-101, October.
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    3. Reynolds, Kara M., 2006. "Subsidizing rent-seeking: Antidumping protection and the Byrd Amendment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 490-502, December.
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    5. Hansen, Wendy L & Prusa, Thomas J, 1997. "The Economics and Politics of Trade Policy: An Empirical Analysis of ITC Decision Making," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(2), pages 230-245, May.
    6. repec:cup:apsrev:v:84:y:1990:i:03:p:797-820_19 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Collie, David R. & Vandenbussche, Hylke, 2006. "Tariffs and the Byrd amendment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 750-758, September.
    8. Chappell, Henry W, Jr, 1982. "Campaign Contributions and Congressional Voting: A Simultaneous Probit-Tobit Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(1), pages 77-83, February.
    9. De Vault, James M, 2002. "Congressional Dominance and the International Trade Commission," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 110(1-2), pages 1-22, January.
    10. 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.
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    12. Benjamin Liebman, 2004. "ITC voting behavior on sunset reviews," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 140(3), pages 446-475, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Philip G. Gayle & Thitima Puttitanun, 2009. "Has the Byrd Amendment Affected US Imports?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 629-642, April.
    2. John Gilbert & Reza Oladi, 2012. "Net campaign contributions, agricultural interests, and votes on liberalizing trade with China," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(3), pages 745-769, March.
    3. Wang, Xiaosong & Li, Kunwang & Xie, Shenxiang & Hou, Jack, 2013. "How is U.S. trade policy towards China determined?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 25-36.
    4. Rajwani, Tazeeb & Liedong, Tahiru Azaaviele, 2015. "Political activity and firm performance within nonmarket research: A review and international comparative assessment," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 273-283.
    5. Nownes Anthony J. & Aitalieva Nurgul R., 2013. "The political activities of American corporate leaders," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 15(4), pages 493-527, December.
    6. Kara M. Reynolds, 2005. "Anticipated versus Realized Benefits: Can Event Studies Be Used To Predict the Impact of New Regulations?," International Trade 0512005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Benjamin Liebman & Kasaundra Tomlin, 2015. "World Trade Organization sanctions, implementation, and retaliation," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 715-745, March.
    8. Carolyn L. Evans & Shane M. Sherlund, 2011. "Are Antidumping Duties for Sale? Case-Level Evidence on the Grossman-Helpman Protection for Sale Model," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 330-357, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Byrd Amendment; Antidumping; Campaign Contributions; Political Economy of Trade Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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