The political economy of trade and migration:Evidence from the U.S. Congress

Conconi, Paola and Facchini, Giovanni and Steinhardt, Max and Zanardi, Maurizio (2020) The political economy of trade and migration:Evidence from the U.S. Congress. Economics & Politics, 32 (2). pp. 250-278. ISSN 1468-0343

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We compare the drivers of U.S. congressmen's votes on trade and migration reforms since the 1970's. Standard trade theory suggests that trade reforms that lower barriers to goods from less skilled-labor abundant countries and migration reforms that lower barriers to low-skilled migrants should have similar distributional effects, hurting low-skilled U.S. workers while benefiting high-skilled workers. In line with this prediction, we find that House members representing more skilled-labor abundant districts are more likely to support trade and migration reforms that benefit high-skilled workers. Still, important differences exist: Democrats are less supportive of trade reforms than Republicans, while the opposite is true for migration reforms; welfare state considerations and network effects shape votes on migration, but not on trade.

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Journal Article
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Economics & Politics
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This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:Conconi, P, Facchini, G, Steinhardt, MF, Zanardi, M. The political economy of trade and migration: Evidence from the U.S. Congress. Econ Polit. 2020; 32: 250– 278. which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
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30 Sep 2019 08:15
Last Modified:
29 Sep 2023 01:37