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The dracula effect: voter information and trade policy

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dc.contributor.author Ponzetto, Giacomo A. M.
dc.contributor.author Petrova, Maria
dc.contributor.author Enikolopov, Ruben
dc.date.accessioned 2021-09-16T09:39:13Z
dc.date.available 2021-09-16T09:39:13Z
dc.date.issued 2020-10-07
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10230/48466
dc.description.abstract Trade barriers cause substantial deadweight losses, yet they enjoy surprising voter support. We develop an electoral model that accounts for this puzzling popularity of protectionism. Producers have incentives to acquire information about their own sector, while consumers do not. As a result, trade barriers are popular because they are disproportionately noticed by their beneficiaries. In equilibrium, politicians give every sector positive protection. This protectionist bias induces Pareto inefficiency if public information is too limited. Our model predicts a Dracula Effect: trade policy for an industry is less protectionist when public awareness of it is greater. We test this prediction empirically across U.S. manufacturing industries, exploiting the timing of industrial accidents relative to other newsworthy events as a source of exogenous variation in media coverage of each sector. As predicted by our theory, industries whose accidents occur on slow news days subsequently enjoy lower non-tariff barriers.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language eng
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject.other Trade policy
dc.subject.other Protectionism
dc.subject.other Election
dc.subject.other Information acquisition
dc.subject.other Media coverage
dc.title The dracula effect: voter information and trade policy
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/workingPaper
dc.rights.accessRights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess


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