Political Ideology and Endogenous Trade Policy: An Empirical Investigation
NBER Working Paper No. 9239
In this paper, we empirically investigate how government ideology affects trade policy. The prediction of a partisan, ideology-based model (within a two-sector, two-factor Heckscher-Ohlin framework) is that left-wing governments will adopt more protectionist trade policies in capital rich countries, but adopt more pro-trade policies in labor rich economies than right-wing ones. The data strongly support this prediction in a very robust fashion. There is some evidence, that this relationship may hold better in democracies than in dictatorships though the magnitude of the partisan effect seems stronger in dictatorships.