NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

What Governments Maximize and Why: The View from Trade

Kishore Gawande, Pravin Krishna, Marcelo Olarreaga

NBER Working Paper No. 14953
Issued in May 2009
NBER Program(s):   ITI   POL

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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14953

Published: Gawande, Kishore & Krishna, Pravin & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2009. "What Governments Maximize and Why: The View from Trade," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(03), pages 491-532, July. citation courtesy of

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