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A swing state theory of trade protection in the Electoral College

Muuls, Mirabelle and Petropoulou, Dimitra ORCID: 0000-0003-4570-3570 (2013) A swing state theory of trade protection in the Electoral College. Canadian Journal of Economics, 46 (2). pp. 705-724. ISSN 0008-4085

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Identification Number: 10.1111/caje.12029


This paper analyzes trade policy determination in the Electoral College in the presence of swing voters. It determines the circumstances under which incumbent politicians have an incentive to build a reputation for protectionism, thus swaying voting decisions and improving their re-election probability. Strategic trade protection is shown to be more likely when protectionist swing voters have a lead over free trade supporters in states with relatively strong electoral competition and in states representing a larger proportion of Electoral College votes. An empirical test using a measure of industrial concentration in swing and decisive U.S. states lends support to the theoretical findings.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2013 Canadian Economics Association
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D72 - Economic Models of Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
F - International Economics > F1 - Trade > F13 - Commercial Policy; Protection; Promotion; Trade Negotiations; International Trade Organizations
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2014 09:10
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2024 03:03
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (Grants PTA-030-2002-00845 and PTA-030-2002-00847)

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