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Electoral systems and trade-policy outcomes: the effects of personal-vote incentives on barriers to international trade

Wagner, P; Plouffe, M; (2019) Electoral systems and trade-policy outcomes: the effects of personal-vote incentives on barriers to international trade. Public Choice 10.1007/s11127-019-00640-4. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Despite established benefits in free trade, protectionism persists to varying degrees across the world. Why is that? Political institutions govern the ways in which competing trade-policy preferences are aggregated, shaping policy outcomes. The ubiquitous binary PR/plurality indicator in the trade-politics literature is divorced from comparative institutional research. We build on the latter body of research to generate a new 13-point index that captures the extent to which electoral systems incentivize personal-vote cultivation, based on a combination of established theoretical and new empirical evidence on candidate incentives. We argue that institutional incentives to pursue a personal vote are positively linked to the provision of particularistic policies, including trade protectionism. We find strong empirical support for the hypothesized relationship, and our results highlight the importance of applying parsimonious approaches to studying domestic institutions when analyzing their impact on foreign economic policy.

Type: Article
Title: Electoral systems and trade-policy outcomes: the effects of personal-vote incentives on barriers to international trade
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11127-019-00640-4
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11127-019-00640-4
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Electoral institutions, International political economy, Personal-vote incentives, Trade politics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10070208
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