Trade Liberalization and Culture
Steven Suranovic () and
Winthrop Robert ()
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Winthrop Robert: US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Washington, DC, USA
Global Economy Journal, 2014, vol. 14, issue 1, 22
This paper addresses the effect of international trade on cultural outcomes from both economic and anthropological perspectives. Definitions of culture are informed by anthropology and then incorporated into a standard economic trade models in two distinct ways. In the “cultural affinity from work” model, workers receive a non-pecuniary cultural benefit from work in a particular industry. In the “cultural externality” model, consumers of a product receive utility from other consumer’s consumption of a domestic good. We show that resistance to change due to cultural concerns can reduce the national benefits from trade liberalization. Complete movements to free trade will have a positive national welfare impact in the cultural affinity case, whereas it may lower national welfare in the cultural externality case. We also show that a loss of cultural benefits is more likely to occur when culture is an externality.
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