Pandemic Protectionism: COVID-19 and the Rise of Public Opposition to Trade

50 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2022

See all articles by Edward Mansfield

Edward Mansfield

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Political Science

Omer Solodoch

University of Pennsylvania

Date Written: June 3, 2022

Abstract

How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect public attitudes toward international trade? While the economic shock and perceived foreign threat associated with the pandemic might have increased protectionist sentiments, the rapidly evolving sense of isolation, rising prices, and shortages of various products might have led consumers to place added value on trade. Based on cross-sectional and panel data, we find a substantial increase in Americans' opposition to trade immediately following the outbreak of the pandemic. This heightened opposition was both long-lasting and pervasive, cutting across demographic, economic, and partisan lines. While our analysis reveals that the protectionist shift was not limited to any narrow segment of society, we also find that it was most pronounced among individuals who contracted the coronavirus and those who experienced adverse economic shocks stemming from COVID-19, as well as Republicans, women, and people with stronger ethnocentric predispositions.

Keywords: Trade preferences, Protectionism, COVID-19, Pandemic

JEL Classification: F5

Suggested Citation

Mansfield, Edward and Solodoch, Omer, Pandemic Protectionism: COVID-19 and the Rise of Public Opposition to Trade (June 3, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4128046 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4128046

Edward Mansfield

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Political Science ( email )

Stiteler Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Omer Solodoch (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19103
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.solodoch.com

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