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Protection for Sale: The case of oligopolistic competition and interdependent sectors

Elena Paltseva ()

Canadian Journal of Economics, 2014, vol. 47, issue 4, 1195-1216

Abstract: In GrossmanHelpman's (1994) canonical Protection for Sale (PFS) model, political competition among industry lobbies is driven purely by their interests as consumers. This paper introduces demand linkages and oligopolistic competition into the PFS framework to address the rivalry among lobbies stemming from product substitutability. It shows that increased substitutability weakens the interest groups' incentives to lobby and reduces tariff distortions. This may explain why empirical tests of PFS find surprisingly little impact of lobbies on the government's trade policy decision. The paper also analyzes endogenous lobby formation, suggesting that demand linkages may adversely affect the industry decision to organize.

Date: 2014
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