31 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2015
Date Written: August 12, 2015
The passage of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930 is one of the most widely studied events in political economy. Existing accounts of the patterns of political cleavages over the legislation – such as those of Schattschneider, Pastor and Eichengreen – focus on vote-trading, partisanship, and the costs of trade, respectively. These explanations mask an underlying dynamic in the heterogeneity of producers. Highly productive producers, and those industries dominated by them, opposed tariff increases and the passage of the Smoot-Hawley Act, while relatively unproductive producers – and industries where they were prevalent – sought further protection and the tariff’s passage.
Keywords: Firm heterogeneity, Great Depression, International political economy, Lobbying, Smoot-Hawley Tariff, Trade policy
JEL Classification: D21, D22, F12, F13, F14, F50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation