Does Trade Liberalization with China Influence U.S. Elections?
This paper examines the impact of trade liberalization on U.S. Congressional elections. We find that U.S. counties subject to greater competition from China via a change in U.S. trade policy exhibit relative increases in turnout, the share of votes cast for Democrats and the probability that the county is represented by a Democrat. We find that these changes are consistent with Democrats in office during the period examined being more likely than Republicans to support legislation limiting import competition or favoring economic assistance.
We thank participants at the 2015 NBER China meeting for helpful comments. Any opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Board of Governors, its research staff, or the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The project is suppported by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong.