Policymakers’ horizon and trade reforms: the protectionist effect of elections

Conconi, Paola and Facchini, Giovanni and Zanardi, Maurizio (2014) Policymakers’ horizon and trade reforms: the protectionist effect of elections. Journal of International Economics, 94 (1). pp. 102-118. ISSN 0022-1996

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Abstract

This paper shows that electoral incentives deter politicians from supporting trade liber- alization. We focus on all major trade liberalization bills introduced since the early 1970s in the U.S. Congress, in which House and Senate members serve respectively two- and six-year terms and one third of senators face elections every two years. We show that senators are more likely to support trade liberalization than House representatives. How- ever, this result does not hold for the last generation of senators, who face elections at the same time as House members, suggesting that inter-cameral differences are driven by term length. Considering senators alone, we find that the last generation is less likely to support trade liberalization than the previous two. This result is pervasive and holds both when comparing the behavior of different senators voting on the same bill and that of individual senators voting on different bills. The protectionist effect of election proximity disappears for senators who are retiring or hold safe seats.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Research funding from the FNRS and the European Commission (PEGGED (Contract number: SSH7-CT-2008-217559) and GRASP (Contract number: European Commission's Grant Agreement Contract Number 244725) projects) is gratefully acknowledged
Keywords: Term length, election proximity, roll-call votes, trade liberalization.
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jinteco.2014.06.006
Depositing User: Thakrar, Anandi
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2015 08:29
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 14:42
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/30483

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