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A swing state theory of trade protection in the Electoral College

Muuls, Mirabelle and Petropoulou, Dimitra (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

Abstract

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
Sets: Research centres and groups > Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Collections > United States Collection
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2014 09:10
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2019 11:21
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (Grants PTA-030-2002-00845 and PTA-030-2002-00847)
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/59325

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