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How issue framing shapes trade attitudes: Evidence from a multi-country survey experiment

Marisol Rodriguez Chatruc, Ernesto Stein and Razvan Vlaicu

Journal of International Economics, 2021, vol. 129, issue C

Abstract: This paper examines general support for trade at the individual level, measures its sensitivity to pro- and anti-trade framing, and relates these effects to how framing affects specific beliefs about trade. The data come from a randomized experiment we included in the 2018 Latinobarometro survey covering 18 countries. We find that respondents' high support for trade is based primarily on perceived employment gains. General support for trade is unaffected by consumption benefits framing, but is highly sensitive downward to employment loss framing. Positive framing does shift upward respondent beliefs that trade reduces consumption prices, but also raises concerns about low wages. Negative framing substantially weakens the prevailing beliefs that trade brings higher employment. Framing impacts reflect behavioral responses and depend on country-level factors, such as unemployment and import dependence, as well as individual-level factors, education in particular moderating framing responses in line with relative factor endowments theories of trade.

Keywords: Trade attitudes; Issue framing; Factor endowments; Survey experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 F13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2021.103428

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