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Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre - Department of Economics
Economics Working Papers

Economics Working Papers: Abstract 2003-10


Nummer

2003-10

Autoren

Gerald Willmann

 

Titel

 

Why Legislators are Protectionists: the Role of Majoritarian Voting in Setting Tariffs
Abstract Based on the observation that industries are often geographically concentrated, this paper proposes a new political economy model of trade protection. We associate the sectors of a specific factors model with electoral districts populated by continua of heterogeneous voters who differ in their relative factor endowments. We show how strategic delegation leads each district to elect a representative who is more protectionist than the median voter. The legislature formed by these representatives then sets tariffs that are strictly positive. Introducing additional policy instruments reveals a trade-off between efficiency and regional targetability.

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