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Heterogeneous Districts, Interests, and Trade Policy
Congressional districts are political entities with heterogeneous trade policy preferences due to their diverse economic structures. Representation of these interests in Congress is a crucial aspect of trade policymaking that is missing in canonical political economy models of trade. In this paper, we underscore the influence of districts by developing a political economy model of trade with region-specific factors. Using 2002 data from U.S. Congressional Districts, we first characterize the unobserved district-level demand for protection. Extending the model beyond the small country ...
Trade Liberalization and Mortality : Evidence from U.S. Counties
We investigate the impact of a large economic shock on mortality. We find that counties more exposed to a plausibly exogenous trade liberalization exhibit higher rates of suicide and related causes of death, concentrated among whites, especially white males. These trends are consistent with our finding that more-exposed counties experience relative declines in manufacturing employment, a sector in which whites and males are over-represented. We also examine other causes of death that might be related to labor market disruption and find both positive and negative relationships. More-exposed ...
Trade Policy is Real News: Theory and Evidence
We evaluate the aggregate effects of changes in trade barriers when these changes can be implemented slowly over time and trade responds gradually to changes in trade barriers because firm-level trade costs make exporting a dynamic decision. Our model shows how expectations of changes in trade barriers affect the economy. We find that while decreases in trade barriers increase economic activity, expectations of lower future trade barriers temporarily decrease investment, hours worked, and output. Further- more, canceling an expected decline in future trade barriers raises investment and ...
Trade policies and fiscal devaluations
Fiscal devaluations—an increase in import tariffs and export subsidies (IX) or an increase in value-added taxes and payroll subsidies (VP)—have been shown to provide as much stimulus under fixed exchange rates as a currency devaluation. We find that if agents expect policies to be reversed and the tax pass-through is large, VP is contractionary and IX provides a modest boost. In our medium-scale DSGE model, both features are crucial in accounting for Germany’s underperformance in response to VP in 2007. These findings cast doubt on fiscal devaluations as a cyclical stabilization tool ...