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The political economy of trade and migration:Evidence from the U.S. Congress

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  • Steinhardt, Max
  • Conconi, Paola
  • Facchini, Giovanni
  • Zanardi, Maurizio

Abstract

Over the last decades, the United States has become increasingly integrated in the world economy. Very low trade barriers and comparatively liberal migration policies have made these developments possible. What drove US congressmen to support the recent wave of globalization? While much of the literature has emphasized the differences that exist between the political economy of trade and migration, in this paper we find that important similarities should not be overlooked. In particular, our analysis of congressional voting between 1970 and 2006 suggests that economic drivers that work through the labor market play an important role in shaping representatives' behavior on both types of policies. Representatives from more skilled-labor abundant districts are more likely to support both trade liberalization and a more open stance vis-a-vis unskilled immigration. Still, important systematic differences exist: welfare state considerations and network effects have an impact on the support for immigration liberalization, but not for trade; Democratic lawmakers are systematically more likely to support a more open migration stance than their Republican counterparts, and the opposite is true for trade liberalization.

Suggested Citation

  • Steinhardt, Max & Conconi, Paola & Facchini, Giovanni & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2013. "The political economy of trade and migration:Evidence from the U.S. Congress," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79961, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79961
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Malcolm, Michael, 2017. "Do local exports impact congressional voting on free trade agreements?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 31-34.
    2. Giovanni Facchini & Tommaso Frattini & Cora Signorotto, 2013. "Mind What Your Voters Read: Media Exposure and International Economic Policy Making," Development Working Papers 358, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    3. Mayda, Anna Maria & Peri, Giovanni & Steingress, Walter, 2015. "Immigration to the U.S.: A problem for the Republicans or the Democrats?," CEPR Discussion Papers 11001, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Lake, James & Millimet, Daniel L., 2016. "An empirical analysis of trade-related redistribution and the political viability of free trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 156-178.
    5. Casarico, Alessandra & Facchini, Giovanni & Frattini, Tommaso, 2016. "What Drives the Legalization of Immigrants? Evidence from IRCA," IZA Discussion Papers 9666, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Julian S. Leppin & Stefan Reitz, 2016. "The Role of a Changing Market Environment for Credit Default Swap Pricing," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(3), pages 209-223, July.
    7. Yi Che & Yi Lu & Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott & Zhigang Tao, 2016. "Does Trade Liberalization with China Influence U.S. Elections?," NBER Working Papers 22178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Bräuninger, Michael, 2014. "Tax sovereignty and feasibility of international regulations for tobacco tax policies," HWWI Research Papers 152, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    9. Lake, James, 2015. "Revisiting the link between PAC contributions and lobbying expenditures," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 86-101.
    10. repec:smu:ecowpa:1405 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Vöpel, Henning, 2013. "A Zidane clustering theorem: Why top players tend to play in one team and how the competitive balance can be restored," HWWI Research Papers 141, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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