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A swing-state theory of trade protection in the electoral college

Muûls, Mirabelle and Petropoulou, Dimitra (2008) A swing-state theory of trade protection in the electoral college. CEPDP, 849. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. ISBN 9780853282426

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Identification Number: 849

Abstract

This paper develops an infinite-horizon, political agency model with a continuum of political districts, in which incumbent politicians can improve their re-election probability by attracting swing voters in key states through strategic trade protection. A unique equilibrium is shown to exist where incumbents build a reputation of protectionism through their policy decisions. We show that strategic trade protection is more likely when protectionist swing voters have a lead over free-trade supporters in states with relatively strong electoral competition that represent a larger proportion of Electoral College votes. US data is used to test the hypothesis that industrial concentration in swing and decisive states is an important determinant of trade protection of that industry. The empirical findings provide support for the theory and highlight an important, and previously overlooked, determinant of trade protection in the US Electoral College.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk
Additional Information: © 2008 the authors
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Departments > Economics
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2008 11:02
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2010 09:12
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/19638

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