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Democracy and Protectionism

Kevin O'Rourke () and Alan Taylor ()

No 5698, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: Does democracy encourage free trade? It depends. Broadening the franchise involves transferring power from non-elected elites to the wider population, most of whom will be workers. The Hecksher-Ohlin-Stolper-Samuelson logic says that democratization should lead to more liberal trade policies in countries where workers stand to gain from free trade; and to more protectionist policies in countries where workers will benefit from the imposition of tariffs and quotas. We test and confirm these political economy implications of trade theory hypothesis using data on democracy, factor endowments, and protection in the late nineteenth century.

Keywords: factor endowments; Heckscher-Ohlin trade theory; Stolper-Samuelson theorem; tariffs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F11 F13 N70 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-int and nep-pol
Date: 2006-05
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Working Paper: Democracy and Protectionism (2007) Downloads
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