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Free Trade and the Formation of Environmental Policy: Evidence from US Legislative Votes*

Jevan Cherniwchan and Nouri Najjar

No 21-11, Carleton Economic Papers from Carleton University, Department of Economics

Abstract: We test the hypothesis that governments alter environmental policy in response to trade by studying NAFTA's effects on the formation of environmental policy in the US House of Representatives between 1990 and 2000. We find that reductions in US tariffs decreased political support for environmental legislation, altering outcomes for 36% of environmental bills. This decrease appears to be due to: (i) a reduction in support by incumbent Republican legislators in response to trade-induced changes in the policy preferences of their constituents, and (ii) voters in affected districts electing Republicans to replace Democrats who had supported the trade agreement.

Keywords: NAFTA; trade liberalization; voting; environmental policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F18 F64 F68 Q56 Q58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 62 pages
Date: 2021-09-30, Revised 2022-02-24
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-cdm, nep-env, nep-int and nep-pol
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1)

Published: Carleton Economics Papers

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