NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Log-Rolling and Economic Interests in the Passage of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff

Douglas A. Irwin, Randall S. Kroszner

NBER Working Paper No. 5510
Issued in March 1996
NBER Program(s):   ITI   DAE

We analyze Senate roll-call votes concerning tariffs on specific goods in order to understand the economic and political factors influencing the passage of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930. Contrary to recent studies emphasizing the partisan nature of the Congressional votes, our reading of the debates in the Congressional Record suggests that the final, party-line voting masks a rich vote- trading dynamic. We estimate a logit model of specific tariff votes that permits us to identify (a) important influences of specific producer beneficiaries in each Senator's constituency and (b) log- rolling coalitions among Senators with otherwise unrelated constituency interests which succeeded in raising tariff rates.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w5510

Published: Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Vol. 45 (December 1996): 173-200

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