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Reconciling observed tariffs and the median voter model

Dhingra, Swati (2014) Reconciling observed tariffs and the median voter model. Economics and Politics, 26 (3). pp. 483-504. ISSN 0954-1985

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Identification Number: 10.1111/ecpo.12045


Median voter theory applied to trade policy predicts positive tariffs in capital-abundant countries and negative tariffs in labor-abundant countries. Negative tariffs are rare, and this paper reconciles the median voter theory with observed protectionism across countries. By considering large countries, I show the optimal tariff is a sum of the median voter component and a positive term of trade component. Positive terms of trade effects raise tariffs in all countries, and can overcome the negative median voter component in labor-abundant countries. Testing the tariff prediction with cross-section and panel data from the 1990s, I show the median voter component is negative in labor-abundant countries and positive in capital-abundant countries. As expected, terms of trade effects raise tariffs across all countries and are stronger among nonmembers of the WTO.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2014 09:26
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2024 00:11

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