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Trade Policy Making in a Model of Legislative Bargaining

Levent Celik (), Bilgehan Karabay and John McLaren

No 17262, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: In democracies, trade policy is the result of interactions among many agents with different agendas. In accordance with this observation, we construct a dynamic model of legislative trade policy-making in the realm of distributive politics. An economy consists of different sectors, each of which is concentrated in one or more electoral districts. Each district is represented by a legislator in the Congress. Legislative process is modeled as a multilateral sequential bargaining game à la Baron and Ferejohn (1989). Some surprising results emerge: bargaining can be welfare-worsening for all participants; legislators may vote for bills that make their constituents worse off; identical industries will receive very different levels of tariff. The results pose a challenge to empirical work, since equilibrium trade policy is a function not only of economic fundamentals but also of political variables at the time of congressional negotiations - some of them random realizations of mixed bargaining strategies.

JEL-codes: C72 C78 D72 F13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-gth, nep-int and nep-pol
Note: ITI POL
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

Published as Celik, Levent & Karabay, Bilgehan & McLaren, John, 2013. "Trade policy-making in a model of legislative bargaining," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 179-190.

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