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What Governments Maximize and Why: The View from Trade

Posted: 30 Sep 2008  

Kishore Gawande

McCombs School of Business, UT Austin

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Date Written: September 26, 2008

Abstract

Policy making power enables governments to redistribute income to powerful interests in society. However, some governments exhibit greater concern for aggregate welfare than others. This government behavior may itself be endogenously determined by a number of economic, political and institutional factors. Trade policy, being fundamentally redistributive, provides a valuable context in which the welfare mindedness of governments may be empirically evaluated. This paper investigates quantitatively the welfare mindedness of governments and attempts to understand these political and institutional determinants of the differences in government behavior across countries.

Keywords: Redistribution, Political Economy, International Trade, Institutions

JEL Classification: F13

Suggested Citation

Gawande, Kishore, What Governments Maximize and Why: The View from Trade (September 26, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1274349

Kishore Gawande (Contact Author)

McCombs School of Business, UT Austin ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States

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