Producers and the Political Economy of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff

31 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2015  

Michael Plouffe

School of Public Policy, University College London

Date Written: August 12, 2015

Abstract

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

Plouffe, Michael, Producers and the Political Economy of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff (August 12, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2643884 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2643884

Michael Plouffe (Contact Author)

School of Public Policy, University College London ( email )

29/30 Tavistock Square
London, WC1H 9QU
United Kingdom

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