- Copyright Page
- How Should Votes Be Cast and Counted?
- Voters and Representatives: How Should Representatives Be Selected?
- Divided Government: The King and the Council
- Executive Veto Power and Constitutional Design
- Politics and the Legal System
- Constitutional Review
- Institutions for Amending Constitutions
- Constitutional Transition
- Electoral Systems in the Making
- Choosing Voting Rules in the European Union
- Leviathan, Taxation, and Public Goods
- Fiscal Powers Revisited: The Leviathan Model After 40 Years
- Are There Types of Dictatorship?
- Are There Really Dictatorships?: The Selectorate and Authoritarian Governance
- The Coup: Competition for Office in Authoritarian Regimes
- The Logic of Revolutions: Rational Choice Perspectives
- Direct Democracy and Public Policy
- Policy Differences Among Parliamentary and Presidential Systems
- The Significance of Political Parties
- The Least Dangerous Branch?: Public Choice, Constitutional Courts, and Democratic Governance
- Challenges in Estimating the Effects of Constitutional Design on Public Policy
- The Political Economy of Taxation: Power, Structure, Redistribution
- The Politics of Central Bank Independence
- The Political Economy of Redistribution Policy
- Political Participation and the Welfare State
- Institutions for Solving Commons Problems: Lessons and Implications for Institutional Design
- Rational Ignorance and Public Choice
- Is Government Growth Inevitable?
- The Political Economy of International Organizations
- The Politics of International Trade
- Politics, Direct Investment, Public Debt Markets, and the Shadow Economy: What Do We (Not) Know?
- The Politics of International Aid
- Is Democracy Exportable?
- Ancient Greece: Democracy and Autocracy
- Christian History and Public Choice
- Voting at the U.S. Constitutional Convention
- Precursors to Public Choice
- Estimates of the Spatial Voting Model
- The Dimensionality of Parliamentary Voting
- Voting and Popularity
- Detection of Election Fraud
- Experimental Public Choice: Elections
- Experimental Evidence on Expressive Voting
Abstract and Keywords
Traditional international trade models explain the sources of comparative advantage and show how a country as a whole gains from trade and from terms-of-trade improvement. The traditional models assumed competitive market-determined outcomes with passive or benevolent government. Income-distribution consequences of trade policy were noted. The models did not address the politics of trade policy, the study of which requires two premises consistent with public-choice principles: (1) that political self-interest underlies policy decisions rather than benevolent-government social-welfare objectives, and (2) political decision makers prefer creation of politically assignable rents to non-assignable budgetary revenue or aggregate country-wide gains from free trade or terms-of-trade improvement. These two premises are acknowledged in the first-generation of models of politicized trade policy. A second generation of models includes the first but not the second premise. It is documented that public-choice premises have not always been included in mainstream economic models. The second-generation models devoid of the primacy of rents in trade-policy determination are mainstream for many members of the academic international trade community. The chapter explains how, by not including the political preference for rents over budgetary revenue, the second-generation models are at variance with the actual conduct of trade policy. Public-choice concepts are also used to re-evaluate a wide range of traditional trade-policy conclusions and recommendations. Empirical evidence is reviewed and interpreted.
Wilfred J. Ethier is Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania.
Arye L. Hillman is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Economics at Bar-Ilan University.
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