Why are Some People (and Countries) More Protectionist than Others?

54 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2001 Last revised: 24 Oct 2010

See all articles by Anna Maria Mayda

Anna Maria Mayda

Harvard University - Department of Economics

Dani Rodrik

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2001

Abstract

We analyze a rich cross-country data set that contains information on attitudes toward trade as well as a broad range of socio-demographic and other indicators. We find that pro-trade preferences are significantly and robustly correlated with an individual's level of human capital, in the manner predicted by the factor endowments model. Preferences over trade are also correlated with the trade exposure of the sector in which an individual is employed: individuals in non-traded sectors tend to be the most pro-trade, while individuals in sectors with a revealed comparative disadvantage are the most protectionist. Third, an individual's relative economic status, measured in terms of either relative income within each country or self-expressed social status, has a very strong positive association with pro-trade attitudes. Finally, non-economic determinants, in the form of values, identities, and attachments, play an important role in explaining the variation in preferences over trade. High degrees of neighborhood attachment and nationalism/patriotism are associated with protectionist tendencies, while cosmopolitanism is correlated with pro-trade attitudes. Our framework does a reasonable job of explaining differences across individuals and a fairly good job of explaining differences across countries.

Suggested Citation

Mayda, Anna Maria and Rodrik, Dani, Why are Some People (and Countries) More Protectionist than Others? (September 2001). NBER Working Paper No. w8461. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=282687

Anna Maria Mayda (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-868-3900 (Phone)

Dani Rodrik

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-9454 (Phone)
617-496-5747 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/rodrik/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
42
Abstract Views
1,368
PlumX Metrics