Read the following journal articles and write a summary and critique for each article. And ask a discussion question for each journal. at least 600 words for eachMilner, Helen. 1999. “The Political Economy of International Trade.” Annual Review of Political Science 2: 91-114.McGillivray, Fiona and Alastair Smith. 2004. “The Impact of Leadership Turnover on Trading Relations Between States.” International Organization 58 (3): 567-600.Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999. 2:91–114
Copyright Ó 1999 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
Helen V. Milner
Department of Political Science, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027;
KEY WORDS: trade policy, protectionism, preferences, institutions, international politics
One of the most salient changes in the world economy since 1980 has been
the move toward freer trade among countries across the globe. How do existing theories about trade policy explain this puzzle? Three sets of explanations are prominent. First, many focus on changes in trade policy preferences
among domestic actors, either societal groups or political leaders. Second,
scholars examine changes in political institutions to account for such policy
change. Third, they seek explanations in changes in the international political system. Large-scale changes in political institutions, especially in the
direction of democracy, may be necessary for the kind of massive trade liberalization that has occurred. But changes in preferences cannot be overlooked
in explaining the rush to free trade. Moreover, the influence of international
institutions has been important. Finally, the reciprocal impact of trade on domestic politics and the international political system is important. If the rush
to free trade is sustained, will its impact be benign or malign?
One of the most salient changes in the world economy since 1980 has been the
move toward freer trade among countries across the globe. Countries as diverse as Mexico, India, Poland, Turkey, Ghana, Morocco, and Spain—not to
mention Chile, which moved earlier in the 1970s—have all chosen to liberalize unilaterally their trade policies.1 In addition, the successful conclusion of
the multilateral trade negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and
1Many of these trade liberalizations occurred within the context of larger economic reform
packages. Here I discuss only the trade liberalization component.
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
Trade (GATT), the Uruguay Round, in 1994 further liberalized trade among
many developed countries and between them and developing ones. This global
“rush to free trade,” as Rodrik (1994) has called it, is an anomaly politically.
As he describes it (1994:62), “Since the early 1980s, developing countries
have flocked to free trade as if it were the Holy Grail of economic development.… Together with the historic transformation and opening of the Eastern
European economies, these developments represent a genuine revolution in
policymaking. The puzzle is why is it occurring now and why in so many countries all at once?” The purpose of this essay is to ask whether and how the existing theories we have about trade policy can explain this puzzle.
The scholarly literature on international trade is vast. Both economists and
political scientists have contributed much to it, as recent surveys by economists such as Reizman & Wilson (1995) and Rodrik (1995) and political scientists such as Cohen (1990) and Lake (1993) demonstrate. But their approaches
have tended to differ. Economists have focused on explaining trade flows.
Why certain countries import and export particular goods or services to certain
other countries has been a central question for them. Much theory in international trade addresses this question; for instance, one of the central theorems in
trade theory, the Heckscher-Ohlin theorem, explains trade flows. Economists
have also devoted attention to the issue of trade barriers. The central theoretical conclusion of the field, of course, has been that free trade is the best policy
for most countries most of the time. Thus, economists have puzzled over why,
given this finding, countries invariably employ at least some protectionist policies. They have tended to ask why countries protect certain of their industries
when free trade would be better economically. By and large, their answer has
focused on the preferences of domestic actors for protection. Using the
Stopler-Samuelson theorem and other economic theories, they have explored
why certain domestic groups would prefer protection and why they would expend resources to lobby for it. This has resulted in a large empirical literature
examining levels of protection across industries and, recently, in the development of models of such protection. Ultimately, then, economists have been
pushed into studying the politics of trade. How well have they done in modeling such politics? Moreover, have they been able to explain the rush to free
trade that has occurred?
In contrast, political scientists have rarely focused on explaining the pattern
of trade flows. Only some recent work has explored the political roots of
import and export flows among countries. Moreover, political scientists have
tended to see protection as the norm and have puzzled over why a country
would ever liberalize its trade policy or adopt free trade. Politically, protectionism seems eminently reasonable. Explaining both protectionist and free
trade policies and their changes over time has occupied political scientists.
Indeed, the prevailing theories of the 1970s and early 1980s would have pre-
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
dicted the opposite of the rush to free trade. As I argue below, many systemic
theories, such as hegemonic stability and dependency theory, seemed to forecast growing protectionism in the world economy. For many political scientists, then, the rush to free trade has been unexpected.
Here I explore four sets of issues that are central to understanding trade
politics. First, what do we know about the preferences of domestic groups for
protection or free trade? Why do some groups favor protection, and some favor
free trade? Do these preferences change over time? And if so, why? Can
changes in preferences explain the rush to free trade?
Second, how do political institutions affect the ways in which the preferences of actors are translated into policy? How important are institutions in
aggregating preferences and supplying policy? How much do changes in institutions affect trade policy, and can they explain the rush to free trade?
Third, what factors at the international level shape trade policy choices?
How do relations among countries and the structure of the international system
affect domestic choices about trade? Have changes such as the end of the bipolar Cold War system been responsible for the recent trend toward trade liberalization?
Finally, how does international trade itself affect states and the international political system? Do rising trade flows produce important changes in
domestic preferences, institutions, and policies?
I examine each of these issues to see if they can provide us with some answers to the most significant aspect of trade policy today: the widespread liberalization of trade policies that has taken place since the early 1980s.
Since World War II, the main instrument of trade policy, tariffs, among advanced industrial countries have been reduced to insignificant levels. After the
latest round of international trade negotiations, the Uruguay Round, completed
in 1994, the average tariff for the developed countries was reduced from 6.3%
to 3.8% [World Trade Organization (WTO) 1996:31]. On the other hand,
non-tariff barriers—which include quantitative restrictions, price controls,
subsidies, voluntary export restraints, etc—have proliferated, in part making
2 2“Trade policies” refers to all policies that have a direct impact on the domestic prices of
tradables, that is, goods and services traded across national boundaries as imports and/or exports.
Such policies include not only import tariffs, which are taxes on imports, but also export taxes,
which under certain conditions have the same effects as import taxes. Likewise, import and export
subsidies count. Exchange rate policy also affects trade flows, but I leave this subject for others to
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
up for the decline in tariffs. But again the Uruguay Round slowed or reversed
this, helping to reduce quotas, subsidies, and voluntary export restraints across
a wide range of industries and to convert these barriers into more transparent
tariffs (WTO 1996:32).
For most of the postwar period, less developed countries (LDCs) have used
trade barriers extensively, many for the explicit purpose of import-substituting
industrialization (ISI). But beginning in the 1980s especially, many developing countries began to liberalize trade and to adopt export-oriented policies
[International Monetary Fund (IMF) 1992]. The conclusion of the Uruguay
Round promoted this by reducing trade barriers in many areas of key interest to
the LDCs, such as textiles and agriculture; it also brought many new developing countries into the international trade organization, the WTO, inducing
them to follow its rules. In addition, the transition from communist economies
to market-based ones by many countries in the early 1990s further accelerated
the trend toward global trade liberalization. All of these changes have resulted
in one striking fact about the period since 1980: There has been a far-reaching
liberalization of trade barriers across the globe (WTO 1996, Rodrik 1994).
Why has this occurred? And will it last?
Concomitantly and in part consequentially, the growth of world trade has
surged. For most of the postwar period, the growth of trade has outpaced
growth in world output. Also important are changes in the nature of global
trade. There has been tremendous growth in intra-industry trade and in intrafirm trade. Intra-industry trade, which involves the exchange of goods from
within the same industry, say Toyotas for BMWs, now accounts for between
55% and 75% of trade in advanced industrial countries (Greenaway & Milner
1986:Table 5-3); for the United States, this figure was 83% in 1990 (Bergsten
& Noland 1993:66). Intrafirm trade, which involves transfers of goods within
one company across national boundaries, has also grown; it now accounts for
over 40% of total US imports and 30% of US exports (Encarnation 1992:28).
These two types of trade are important because they tend to have different effects than standard, interindustry trade. Generally, they are associated with
fewer displacement effects and less conflict. As Lipson (1982:453) argues,
“intra-industry trade provides a powerful new source of multilateral interest in
the liberal trade regime: diminished adjustment costs in some sectors, and
higher net gains from trade as a result.” Finally, there has been a significant regionalization of trade. Intraregional trade flows within the European Union,
East Asia, North America, and Latin America especially have become more
important as a share of total trade. This is partially a result of the regional integration agreements signed by these countries in the past two decades—e.g. the
single market in Europe, the North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA), the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia
Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and Mercosur (WTO 1996:17–22).
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
Some of the earliest models explaining trade policy have focused on “pressure
group politics.” That is, they explain the recourse to protection by governments as a function of the demands made by domestic groups. Domestic
groups seek protection or liberalization because such policies increase their incomes. The distributional consequences of trade policy thus become the explanation for its causes. Adam Smith (1937 [1776]) may have been one of the
first to recognize this when he noted that the subversion of the national interest
in free trade is the frequent outcome of collusion among businessmen.
Schattschneider (1935) was another early proponent of the view that special
economic interests were mainly responsible for the choice of protectionism;
he showed how these pressure groups hijacked the US Congress in
1929–1930 and produced one of the highest tariffs in US history, the SmootHawley tariff.
Since then, development of the pressure group model has attempted to delineate more specifically the groups who should favor and oppose protection
and the conditions under which they may be most influential. One motive for
this has been the observation that the extent of protection and the demands for
it vary both across industries and across countries. If all domestic groups favored protection, then such variance should not exist. Explaining this variance
has been a key feature of the literature. The main divide has been between socalled factoral versus sectoral or firm-based theories of preferences. In both
cases, preferences are deduced as a result of the changes in income that accrue
to different actors when policy changes from free trade to protection or vice
versa. Factoral theories rely on the Stopler-Samuelson theorem (1941), which
shows that when factors of production, such as labor and capital, can move
freely among sectors, a change from free trade to protection will raise the income of factors that are relatively scarce in a country and lower the income of
relatively abundant factors. Thus, scarce factors will support protection,
whereas abundant ones will oppose it. Rogowski (1989) has developed one of
the most interesting political extensions of this, claiming that increasing (decreasing) exposure to trade sets off either increasing class conflict or urbanrural conflict according to the factor endowments of different countries.
In contrast, sectoral and firm-based theories of trade preferences follow
from the Ricardo-Viner model of trade—also called the specific-factors
model—in which, because at least one factor is immobile, all factors attached
to import-competing sectors lose from trade liberalization while those in
export-oriented sectors gain. Conflict over trade policy thus pits labor, capital,
and landowners in sectors besieged by imports against those who export their
production. How closely factors are tied to their sectors—i.e. the degree of factor specificity—is the key difference between these two models (Alt et al
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
1996). A number of studies have tested these two models, sometimes singly
and sometimes simultaneously. Irwin (1994, 1996), Magee et al (1989), and
Frieden (1990) have found evidence in support of the specific-factors model;
in contrast, E Beaulieu (unpublished manuscript), Balestreri (1997), Rogowski (1989), Midford (1993), and Scheve & Slaughter (1998) find support
for the Stolper-Samuelson–type factoral models.
In addition to these models of trade preferences, others have looked at how
particular characteristics of industries affect patterns of protection. Caves
(1976), Pincus (1975), Baldwin (1986), Anderson (1980), Marvel & Ray
(1983), Ray (1981), and Trefler (1993) have shown how specific characteristics make an industry more likely not only to desire protection but also to be
able to induce policy makers to provide it. These regression analyses tend to
straddle the debate between sectoral and factoral models of trade politics.
Their comparison across industries suggests a sectoral type of model, but
many of their findings do not disagree with those of a more factoral view of the
world. For example, they tend to demonstrate that low-skill, labor-intensive
industries with high and rising import penetration are frequently associated
with high protection. In addition, many show that export-oriented industries
and multinationals tend to favor freer trade and to be associated with less protection (Milner 1988). The attention to antiprotectionist groups is particularly
interesting given the global move toward trade liberalization; one question is
whether this movement has been due to the growth in importance of these
types of groups domestically.
Can these models of societal preferences explain the rush to free trade? As
Rodrik (1994:78) points out, “Focusing on the distributional consequences of
trade policy provides one potential key to the puzzle. Perhaps the powerful interests that benefited from protection and had successfully blocked reform
were weakened by the debt crises of the 1980s, which would explain the general move toward liberal policies.” He concludes that such evidence would be
difficult to find. But others have argued that the distributional politics of trade
can explain this change in policy.
Frieden & Rogowski (1996:40), for example, argue that exogenous changes
have brought about a reduction in the costs of trade and have thus made trade
more important relative to any domestic economy, increasing the costs of protection. They then point out that this
exogenous easing of international trade [i.e. internationalization] increases
potential benefits to capitalists and skilled workers in the advanced countries, to skilled and unskilled workers in the NICs [newly industrializing
countries], and to unskilled workers in LDCs—all of whom are predicted to
mobilize on behalf of liberalization. At the same time, easier trade threatens
unskilled workers in advanced economies, local capitalists in NICs, and
owners of both physical and human capital in LDCs—all of whom will
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
heighten their demands for protection or compensation. Wood (1994) has argued that we observe exactly this in the economic history of the last twenty
years. (Frieden & Rogowski 1996:40)
Reductions in the costs of trade have thus heightened the opportunity costs of
protection, creating new pressures for freer trade. Exactly why and how the
proponents of trade liberalization have gained political advantage over those
demanding protection is less clear. Indeed, as Rodrik (1994:66–67) notes, “the
prospect of too much redistribution may be the central political difficulty in
trade reform.… Taking income away from one group is rarely easy for a politician to accomplish.” Why did policy makers around the globe choose to do
this, and how were they able to overcome opposition to the sizable income redistribution wrought by embracing freer trade?
One argument made to explain this is that various exogenous conditions
created new actors who preferred freer trade, thus shifting the balance of
power in their favor. Many LDCs began their experiment with trade liberalization as part of a package of reforms designed to pull their economies out of
severe economic crises. The crises themselves helped decimate sectors of the
economy and created government budget crises, which in turn meant an end to
subsidies for some domestic industries. Both of these changes eliminated
many import-competing firms and put a premium on creating exporting firms
that could generate foreign exchange (Haggard 1995:16–19). Thus, in many
LDCs, the crises may have not only created new groups with preferences for
freer trade but also eliminated supporters of protection. For the advanced industrial countries, such changes in the nature of the actors and in their influence may have come from a different source. Frieden & Rogowski (1996)
claim that exogenous change, often in the form of technological change, may
have altered the interest group politics of trade. Here one could cite the growing component of intra-industry trade among the developed countries and the
new support for trade liberalization it might generate. In any case, interest
group explanations of the rush to free trade remain incomplete unless they can
somehow specify how an exogenous force shifted political influence away
from protectionists and in favor of those preferring free trade.
The preferences of other domestic actors have also received some attention.
Many authors assume that individual voters take their preferences from their
role as consumers. Because consumers gain from free trade, they should favor
it (e.g. Grossman & Helpman 1994). Other models of individual preferences
contradict this. Mayer (1984), for example, introduces an electoral component
into the determination of trade policy. Trade policy is determined by the median voter’s preferences, which depend on his factor endowments. The better
endowed he is in the factor used intensively for production of import-competing goods, the more protectionist he will be. Scheve & Slaughter (1998) add
a new component by asking how asset ownership is affected by trade policy.
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
They show that the preferences of individual voters depend on how trade affects their assets. Individuals living in regions with a high concentration of
import-competing industries tend to favor protection because, as imports rise,
economic activity in the region will fall, causing their housing assets to fall in
value. Some surveys have also shown that voters respond positively toward
protection out of sympathy for workers who lose their jobs because of import
competition. Thus, whether individual voters favor protection or free trade is
an area demanding further research, especially in democracies where elections
are often linked to trade policy decisions. Moreover, understanding changes in
these preferences may help us account for the recent rush to free trade.
A number of scholars have argued that the preferences of interest groups
and voters are less important in determining trade policy than are those of the
policy makers themselves. Bauer et al (1972) were among the first to make this
point. From their surveys, they concluded that constituents rarely had strong
preferences about trade policy and even more rarely communicated these to
their political representatives. Trade policy depended much more on the personal preferences and ideas of politicians. Baldwin (1986) and Goldstein
(1988) have also argued that it is the ideas of policy makers about trade policy
that matter most. Rather than material factors determining preferences, ideational factors are paramount. Interestingly, Krueger (1997) argues that “ideas
with regard to trade policy and economic development are among those [factors] that have changed most radically” from 1950 to the 1990s and that help
explain the rush to free trade. A key example of this change is Fernando Henrique Cardoso. As coauthor of one of the most important books on dependency
theory in the 1970s, he argued for the continuation of ISI policies to shelter
LDCs from the capitalist world economy (Cardoso & Faletto 1979). In the
1990s, however, Cardoso was elected president of Brazil and initiated a major
economic reform program, including extensive trade liberalization. How
could his ideas about the proper policies for LDCs have changed so much?
What factors explain this dramatic change in ideas among political leaders in
the developing world?
Given that belief in the superiority of free trade has existed for centuries
among economists, it is also important to question why this change occurred
when it did. Krueger appears to retreat to more material factors to explain its
timing; the failures of ISI and the success of the relatively open NIC economies convinced policy makers that new trade policies were necessary. Others
focus on the economic crises of the early 1980s and the growing influence of
international institutions and the United States.
Although Krueger and others, such as Rodrik (1995), Haggard & Kaufman
(1995), and Bates & Krueger (1993), attribute trade policy reform to crises and
economic downturns, another strand of literature on the macroeconomics of
trade policy concludes in the opposite direction. Many scholars consider bad
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
economic times a prelude to rising demands for protection and increasing levels of protection. Takacs (1981), Gallarotti (1985), Cassing et al (1986),
Magee & Young (1987), and Wallerstein (1987) all found that declines in economic growth or capacity utilization and/or increases in unemployment and
imports tend to increase the demand and supply of protection. This earlier literature saw policy makers responding increasingly to the rising demands for
protection from domestic groups in bad economic times.
The more recent literature, however, implies that bad economic times allow
policy makers more freedom to maneuver so that they can overturn existing
protectionist policies by blaming them for the bad times. For example, Rodrik
(1992:88–89) finds it “paradoxical that the 1980s should have become the
decade of trade liberalization in the developing countries. Thanks to the debt
crisis, the 1980s have also been a decade of intense macroeconomic instability.
Common sense would suggest that the conventional benefits of liberalization
become muted, if not completely offset, under conditions of macro instability.” But he claims that “a time of crisis occasionally enables radical reforms
that would have been unthinkable in calmer times” (1992:89). Rodrik argues
that the prolonged macroeconomic crises of the 1980s were so bad that “the
overall gain from restoring the economy’s health [in part via trade liberalization] became so large that it swamped distributional considerations [raised by
such reforms]” (1994:79).
On the other hand, others, especially Haggard (1995), have argued that crises reduce the maneuvering room of political leaders. They suggest that in the
1980s these leaders were almost forced to liberalize trade (and make other reforms) because of the lack of options and international pressures. Noting the
difference between the 1930s and 1980s crises, Haggard (1995:16–19) points
out that
why external shocks and corresponding macroeconomic policy adjustments
might also be associated with trade and investment liberalization…is puzzling. In the 1930s, balance of payments and debt crises spurred the substitution of imports…and gave rise to a more autarchic and interventionist policy
stance. In the 1980s, by contrast, an inward-looking policy seemed foreclosed.… The opportunities for continued import substitution were limited,
and ties to the world economy had become more varied, complex and difficult to sever.
The effect of economic crises on countries’ decisions to liberalize trade, then,
seems contingent on other factors, such as the prevailing ideas about trade, the
extent of openness existing at the time, and the influence of international factors.
A similar debate seems to exist concerning the exchange rate. Appreciation
of the exchange rate may increase protectionist pressures because it increases
imports and decreases exports, thus affecting the balance of trade preferences
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
domestically (Mansfield & Busch 1995). Others suggest that the effects of an
exchange rate change may have little impact. For instance, Rodrik (1994:73)
shows that a devaluation, which is the opposite of an appreciation, increases
the domestic price of all tradables—imports and exports—thereby allowing
both import-competing and export-oriented sectors to benefit. But under certain conditions, e.g. when foreign exchange is rationed, devaluations can work
just like trade liberalization, prompting demands for new protection from
import-competing sectors. Some studies reveal such an association between
periods of currency devaluations and rising tariffs; Simmons (1994) points out
that many, though not all, of the same conditions that drove states to devalue
also pushed them to increase tariffs in the interwar period. Both policies
were intended to increase demand for domestic output, thus counteracting the
effects of the depression. Much debate continues over the macroeconomic
conditions that produce increasing pressures for protection and/or that induce
policy makers to relent to or resist such pressures.
Can these preference-based theories explain the rush to free trade we have
witnessed recently? As noted above, large changes in relative factor endowments or increasing exposure to international markets could perhaps explain
changes in preferences in liberalizing countries. But relative factor endowments do not seem to have changed much; and greater exposure to international markets, which Frieden & Rogowski (1996) cite as paramount, has had
more effect on the developed countries, since over the prior 30 years many
LDCs have actually reduced their exposure to trade through their ISI policies.
Frieden & Rogowski would counter that the opportunity costs of such closure
have been increasing nevertheless and should have propelled greater demands
for liberalization. Moreover, various exogenous changes may have created
new actors who favor free trade, shifting the domestic balance of power in favor of liberalization. Numerous studies, however, suggest that many interest
groups in LDCs opposed trade liberalization and few supported it (e.g. Bates &
Krueger 1993, Haggard & Webb 1994). Nonetheless, many scholars recognize
that the support of societal groups favoring free trade is an essential element of
the reform process, if not for its initiation at least for its implementation.
“Governments seeking to liberalize trade clearly gain by building ties to private sector organizations with export interests and by weakening institutions
that provide access for firms in the import-substituting sector” (Haggard &
Webb 1994:19).
The changing preferences of policy makers may have played a greater role.
But our models of such preferences seem the most underspecified and post
hoc. There are few theories about the conditions under which policy makers
will abandon ideas that produce “bad” results and what ideas they will adopt in
their stead. Furthermore, such theories suggest that the recent liberalization
process may not be long-lived; changes in leaders or their preferences, or the
onset of bad economic conditions, may lead to the revival of protectionism. In
sum, theories of trade preferences seem to provide only poor explanations for
the major change in trade policy that has occurred globally in the past decade.
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
Can theories that focus on the supply side of trade policy do any better? What
role do political institutions play in trade policy making? And are changes in
them responsible for the rush to free trade?
A number of scholars have argued that political institutions, rather than
preferences, are crucial in explaining trade policy. Although preferences play
a role in these arguments, the main claim is that institutions aggregate such
preferences and different institutions do so differently, thus leading to distinct
policies. Understanding institutions is necessary to explain the actual supply of
protection, rather than simply its demand (Nelson 1988). On the domestic side,
different institutions empower different actors. Some institutions, for example, tend to give special interest groups greater access to policy makers, rendering their demands harder to resist. For example, many scholars believe
that the fact that the US Congress controlled trade policy exclusively before
1934 made it very susceptible to protectionist pressures from interest groups
(Destler 1986, Haggard 1988, Baldwin 1986, Goldstein 1993). Other institutions insulate policy makers from these demands, allowing them more leeway
in setting policy. Thus, some authors argue that giving the executive branch
greater control over trade after the Reciprocal Trade Act of 1934 made trade
policy less susceptible to these influences and more free-trade oriented. In general, concentrating trade-policy–making capabilities in the executive branch
seems to be associated with the adoption of trade liberalization in a wide variety of countries (e.g. Haggard & Kaufman 1995:199). As Haggard & Webb
(1994:13) have noted about trade liberalization in numerous LDCs, “In every
successful reform effort, politicians delegated decisionmaking authority to
units within the government that were insulated from routine bureaucratic processes, from legislative and interest group pressures, and even from executive
Other aspects of political regimes may make them more or less insulated
from societal pressures. Rogowski (1987), for example, has argued that policy
makers should be most insulated from domestic pressures for protection in
countries having large electoral districts and proportional representation (PR)
systems. Mansfield & Busch (1995), however, find that such institutional insulation does indeed matter but often in exactly the opposite direction—greater
insulation (i.e. larger districts and a PR system) leads to more protection. Similarly, D Rodrik (unpublished paper) shows that “political regimes with lower
executive autonomy and more participatory institutions handle exogenous
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
shocks better,” and this may include their response to shocks via trade policy.
Thus, it is not clear that greater insulation of policy makers always produces
policies that promote trade liberalization; the preferences of those policy makers also matter.
The administrative capacity of the state is also seen as an important factor
shaping trade policy. It is well established that developed countries tend to
have fewer trade barriers than do lesser developed countries (Magee et al
1989:230–41; IMF 1992; Conybeare 1982, 1983; Rodrik 1995:1483). Part of
the reason is that taxes on trade are fairly easy to collect and thus, in LDCs
where the apparatus of the state is poorly developed, such taxes may account
for a substantial portion of total state revenues (between a quarter and a half,
according to Rodrik 1994:77). As countries develop, their institutional capacity may also grow, reducing their need to depend on import taxes for revenue.3
For example, the introduction of the personal income tax in 1913 in the United
States made trade taxes much less important for the government, which permitted their later reduction. Thus, changes in political institutions may help
explain changes in trade policy.
Large institutional differences in countries’ political regime types also may
be associated with different trade policy profiles. Some scholars have argued
that democratic countries are less likely to be able to pursue protectionist policies. Wintrobe (1998) claims that autocratic countries are more rent-seeking
and that protection is simply one form of rent-seeking. Mansfield et al (1997,
1998) also show that democratic pairs of countries tend to be more likely to cooperate to lower trade barriers and to sign trade liberalizing agreements than
are autocratic ones. On the other hand, Verdier (1998) argues that, because of
the political conflict engendered by trade, democracies may be less likely to
pursue free trade and more likely to adopt protection against each other, except
when intra-industry trade dominates their trade flows. “The postwar democratic convergence among OECD countries did not hurt trade because similarity in endowments, combined with the presence of scale economies, allowed
these countries to engage in intra-industry trade—a form of trade with few, if
any, wealth effects…. The current wave of democratization endangers trade.
Only in the presence of scale economies [and thus intra-industry trade] can
democratic convergence sustain trade” (Verdier 1998:18–19). Haggard &
Kaufmann (1995) are more circumspect, arguing that the presence of crises
and the form of autocracy may influence the ability to adopt economic reforms
(such as trade liberalization) more than does regime type alone. Debates over
the impact of regime type on trade policy have just begun.
3 3Political leaders may also favor trade liberalization simply because it increases government
revenues. Liberalization may generate more revenues because of the increased economic activity
and higher volumes of trade it produces, even at lower tariff rates.
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
The structure of the government and the nature of the party system have
also been seen as important institutional factors shaping trade policy. Parties
very often take specific stands on trade policy, and their movement in and out
of government may explain trade policy changes, as many authors have contended about the United States (e.g. Epstein & O’Halloran 1996). If so, then
countries with highly polarized party systems, in which the main parties are
separated by large ideological differences, may experience huge swings in
policy and generally produce unsustainable trade reforms. On the other hand,
countries with large numbers of parties may frequently experience coalition
governments, which may be unable to change the status quo. Haggard & Kaufman (1995:170) predict that countries with fragmented and/or polarized party
systems will be unable to initiate economic policy reforms, including trade liberalization, let alone to sustain them. In general, these perspectives suggest
that fragmented political systems are similar to ones with many veto players,
and like them are resistant to change (Tsebelis 1995).
Party systems also interact with the structure of the government. For example, Lohmann & O’Halloran (1994) and O’Halloran (1994) have argued that
when government in presidential systems, such as the United States, is divided—i.e. when one party controls the legislature and the other controls the
executive branch—protectionism is likely to be higher. Milner & Rosendorff
(1996) also argue that divided government in any country is likely to make the
lowering of trade barriers, either domestically or internationally, harder in
most cases. In sum, “political systems with weak executives and fragmented
party systems, divided government, and decentralized political structures responded poorly to crises” and were unable to mobilize the support necessary
for the initiation of economic reforms such as trade liberalization (Haggard &
Kaufman 1995:378). In all of these cases, however, the trade policy preferences of the parties matter for the outcome. Political institutions tend more to
affect which preferences, if any, will become dominant in policy making.
Many of these institutional arguments thus depend on prior claims about
actors’ preferences. For instance, many of the arguments about insulation assume that the policy makers (usually executives) who are insulated from societal demands are free traders. But, as Mansfield & Busch (1995) show, they
may actually be protectionists, in which case insulation allows greater protection. The arguments about divided government, party systems, and democracies also rest to some extent on assumptions about each actor’s preferences.
Divided government matters most when preferences of the parties differ, and
differences in the preferences of autocratic leaders and democratic ones may
be important for the implications of different regime types. Thus, theories that
incorporate both preferences and institutions seem most valuable, since we
know that both matter. Very few studies, however, try to bring together theories of preference formation and institutional influence; Gilligan (1997) and
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
Milner (1997) are examples. Moreover, the matter of which comes first, preferences or institutions, is far from settled. Scholars who focus on preferences
tend to argue that institutions are often shaped by the preferences of those in
power; those who emphasize institutions argue that institutions may actually
shape actors’ preferences. The growing consensus is that both matter and are
jointly determined, but parsimoniously modeling and testing this is an area for
future research.
Do these arguments about the role of institutions help explain the recent
rush to free trade across the globe? They suggest that large institutional
changes should have preceded this change in policy. Have trade-policy–making institutions become more or less insulated across a variety of countries in
the past two decades? Compared with the monetary area, where independent
central banks and currency boards have sprung up widely, there is limited
evidence for such a change in trade. Although Haggard & Webb (1994:13)
point to such evidence for some LDCs, little evidence exists that developed
countries have changed their trade policy structures much in the past 20 years.
Moreover, it is unclear whether more or less insulation of policy makers induces trade liberalization.
There is one area where change has occurred that may be linked to this rush
to free trade. Many of the countries that have embraced trade liberalization
have also democratized. Mexico is a prime case. The growth of political competition and the decline of the hegemonic status of the governing party, the
PRI, seem to have gone hand in hand with the liberalization of trade policy beginning in the 1980s. However, trade reform in many LDCs occurred before
the transition to democracy and was often more successful when it did occur
this way (Haggard & Webb 1994). Chile, Turkey, Taiwan, and South Korea all
began their trade liberalization processes before their democratic transitions.
Rodrik argues more generally that any change in political regime is likely to
induce trade reforms. “Historically sharp changes in trade policy have almost
always been preceded (or accompanied) by changes in the political regime.…
Not all political transformations result in trade reform, but sharp changes in
trade policy are typically the result of such transformations” (Rodrik 1994:69).
Although strong evidence has not yet been presented, at this point changes in
political regimes, and specifically the spread of democracy, may be the institutional change that best helps explain the rush to free trade.
Trade policy is not only affected by domestic forces. A number of factors in the
international system have been connected to countries’ trade policy choices. A
favored argument among Realists has been that the distribution of capabilities
in the international system has a fundamental effect on trade. The so-called
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
theory of hegemonic stability (HST) posited that when the international system
or economy was dominated by one country, a hegemon, then free trade would
be most likely (Krasner 1976, Gilpin 1987, Lake 1988, Gowa 1994). Many critics have challenged this claim both theoretically and empirically (Lake 1993,
Keohane 1997). Conybeare (1984) has shown that large countries should favor
optimal tariffs, not free trade, even if others retaliate; Snidal (1985) and others
have claimed that small numbers of powerful countries could maintain an
open system just as well as a single hegemon could. The theory has also faced
empirical challenges implying that a hegemon is neither necessary nor sufficient for an open trading system (e.g. Krasner 1976, Mansfield 1994). In light
of these results, HST has been modified as scholars examine more closely the
dynamics of interaction among countries in the trading system.
Perhaps the most interesting point about this theory is that it tries to explain
change over time in the overall level of openness in the trading system; that is,
it looks at the sum of countries’ trade policy choices. In terms of our puzzle of
explaining the rush to free trade, HST seems to hold much potential. Changes
in the distribution of capabilities over time should provide clues to this puzzle.
In the 1980s, however, many political scientists argued that the decline of
American hegemony from its zenith after World War II would lead to a rise in
protectionism and perhaps the fragmentation of the international economy into
rival blocs (e.g. Gilpin 1987). This prediction does not seem to explain the rush
to free trade witnessed since the mid-1980s.
One possible retort, however, is that US hegemony has risen, not declined,
since 1980, as Russett (1985) and Strange (1987) have argued. Thus, the renewal of American preeminence in the international system explains the turn
away from protectionism. This argument fits well with a broader claim concerning the dominance of American ideas about free markets and trade, and the
impact of those ideas on other countries’ trade policy choices. After all, the
package of market-oriented reforms, including trade liberalization, that has
been proposed for the LDCs and ex-communist countries is called the Washington consensus. Finally, Haggard (1995) argues that changes in US trade
policy in the 1980s help explain the move toward free trade. The United States
began exerting strong bilateral pressure on LDCs to liberalize their economies
or face closure of the American market to their exports. American hegemony
and the renewed will to exert influence may help account for the rush to free
Other scholars have felt that aspects of the international security environment best explain the pattern of trade. Gowa (1994) has argued that countries
that are military allies trade more with each other, and that this is especially
true of countries within the same alliance in bipolar system. That is, when
countries are allies in a system featuring one other major opposing alliance
group, as was the case during the Cold War, they tend to trade the most freely
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
among themselves. The security externalities of trade drive their behavior, inducing them to help their allies while punishing their enemies. Gowa & Mansfield (1994) and Mansfield & Bronson (1997) provide strong evidence for this
effect. How would this argument deal with the rush to free trade? Unlike other
arguments, it directly links trade policy to the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Eastern bloc. Unfortunately, however, the argument suggests
that protectionism should rise, not decline, with the demise of bipolarity.
Predictions from this model seem to be inaccurate or at least incomplete. A
description of the current structure of the international system might be one of
either multipolarity, in which case the model is inaccurate, or unipolarity, in
which case Gowa has no prediction.
Another aspect of the international system that scholars have noted for its
effect on trade policy is the presence and influence of international institutions.
Although a long debate has occurred over whether international institutions
matter, many scholars conclude that the willingness of states to set up and participate in such institutions implies that they do matter (e.g. Ruggie 1983, Keohane 1984). In the trade area, a number of institutions provide support for an
open, multilateral trading system; these include the GATT and its successor,
the WTO, as well as the IMF and World Bank. Although regional trade institutions may have a more ambiguous effect on the multilateral system (E Mansfield, H Milner, unpublished manuscript), some of them, including the European Union (EU), NAFTA, and ASEAN, seem to have positive effects on lowering trade barriers and reinforcing unilateral moves toward freer trade.
These institutions are postulated to have a number of different effects on
countries’ trade policy choices. Some authors suggest that their main role is to
provide information about other countries’ behavior and compliance with the
rules of the game (e.g. Keohane 1984). Others see these institutions as providing a forum for dispute resolution so that partners in trade can feel more secure
and thus more likely to trade (e.g. Yarbrough & Yarbrough 1992). Still others
view such international institutions as encapsulating the norms by which countries agree to play the trading game, which again provides a common framework for sustaining trade flows (e.g. Ruggie 1983). All of these arguments
hypothesize that the presence of these institutions should be associated with a
freer trade environment; moreover, they imply that the depth and breadth of
these institutions should be positively related to trade liberalization and the
expansion of trade. Can these arguments help explain the rush to free trade
since the 1980s?
Certainly the presence of institutions like the GATT and IMF have added
leverage to arguments for trade liberalization; the IMF and World Bank, for
instance, have often made loans conditional on trade policy reform. But these
institutions have existed since the 1940s, and thus their mere presence cannot
explain the current move toward liberalization. The fact that many countries
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
have been in severe economic crisis and needed external financing may help
explain the added influence that these institutions have exerted since the
1980s. As Rodrik (1992:89) points out, “The 1980s were a decade of great leverage for these institutions [i.e. the IMF and World Bank] vis-à-vis debtor
governments, especially where poorer African governments are concerned.
The trade policy recommendations of the World Bank were adopted by cashstarved governments frequently with little conviction of their ultimate benefits.” But he also notes that, once the crisis is over, governments may return to
their old protectionist ways. Others tend to argue that international institutions
help lock in such domestic reforms. For example, Mexican unilateral trade
liberalization seems much more secure now that Mexico is part of NAFTA and
the WTO.
Finally, the creation of the WTO out of the GATT Uruguay Round represents a step toward the deeper institutionalization of an open trading system.
This change could be associated with growing pressure for domestic trade liberalization. But the WTO’s birth occurred in the wake of changed preferences
for freer trade, not as a precursor to them. By the early 1990s, many countries
were already convinced that trade liberalization was the right policy. In sum,
the growing influence of these international institutions seems to have depended either on the desperation of debtors or on changing domestic preferences and ideas about trade. Although there is little doubt that these institutions helped support trade liberalization globally, it is less certain that they
provided the crucial impetus for this liberalization process (Haggard & Kaufman 1995:199). But, as with domestic political support, these institutions may
be necessary for the reforms to be long lasting.
One might presume that international-level explanations would better account for a global movement like the rush to free trade. But the main politicaleconomy arguments reviewed here have an awkward time explaining this
trend. The distribution of capabilities certainly has changed since the early
1980s, but the direction of this change does not account for the trend in trade
policies. If we have witnessed a move away from American hegemony or from
bipolarity to multipolarity, then we should see a decrease in the openness and
extent of trade. Only if we argue that American hegemony has returned to its
postwar levels can we explain the rush to free trade more confidently. The constant presence of international institutions to guide trade, such as the GATT
and IMF, is also a poor explanation for the global change in policy that has occurred since the 1980s. The increased influence that these institutions had in
the 1980s because of the economic crises that many LDCs underwent may account for some of the change, but again, this combination had been present
before the 1980s and had not led to such a U-turn in trade policy. These international institutions, however, may help to ensure that this liberalization process is not easily reversible.
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
A final area of interest in the political economy of trade policy is the reciprocal
effect of international trade on domestic and international politics. Once countries have liberalized or protected their economies, what might be the effects of
such choices? Scholars have examined this question with attention to at least
three aspects of the domestic political economy. First, some have argued that
trade liberalization can change domestic preferences about trade. As countries
liberalize, the tradables sector of the economy should grow along with exposure to international economic pressures. Rogowski (1989) has argued that this
should lead to greater or new political cleavages and conflicts between scarce
and abundant factors domestically. These new cleavages in turn will alter domestic politics, as for example new parties arise to represent these groups or
new coalitions form. Milner (1988) also argues that increasing openness to
trade changes preferences domestically. Openness raises the potential number
of supporters of free trade as exporters and multinational firms multiply; it
may also reduce import-competing firms as they succumb to foreign competition. Hathaway (1998:606) presents a dynamic model showing that trade liberalization “has a positive feedback effect on policy preferences and political
strategies of domestic producer groups. As industries adjust to more competitive market conditions, their characteristics change in ways that reduce the
likelihood that they will demand protection in the future.” James & Lake
(1989) suggest an ingenious argument that repeal of the protectionist Corn
Laws in the United Kingdom created the necessary conditions for the creation
of a successful coalition for free trade in the United States. Each of these arguments in distinct ways suggests that increasing exposure to trade leads to
increasing pressure against protection, thus creating a virtuous cycle of rising
demand for freer trade. As an explanation for trade policy in the advanced
industrial countries over the past few decades, this type of argument seems
very plausible. The abrupt rejection of ISI and protectionism by developing
countries seems less explicable in these terms.
A second aspect of domestic politics that increased trade may affect involves the character of national political institutions. Among the advanced
industrial countries, Cameron (1978) long ago noted the relationship between
those that were very open to international trade and those with large governments. He and Katzenstein (1985) attributed this correlation to the need for
governments with open economies to provide extensive domestic compensation to the losers from trade and to employ flexible adjustment strategies for
their industries. Rodrik (1997) has found strong evidence of this relationship
around the globe. He claims that greater exposure to external risk, which trade
promotes, increases the volatility of the domestic economy and thus that “so-
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
cieties that expose themselves to greater amounts of external risk demand (and
receive) a larger government role as shelter from the vicissitudes of global
markets” (1997:53). Increasing exposure to international trade may thus create
demands for more government intervention and a larger welfare state, which in
turn are necessary to sustain public support for an open economy.
Rogowski (1987:212) has argued that as countries become more open to
trade, they will find it increasingly advantageous to devise institutions that
maximize “the state’s insulation, autonomy and stability.” For him, this implies parliamentary systems with strong parties, proportional representation
(PR), and large districts. He finds a strong relationship especially between
openness and PR systems. Haldenius (1992) also finds that trade may have
effects on domestic institutions. He argues that exposure to international trade
brings higher rates of economic growth, which, through the development process, may translate into better conditions for the emergence of democracy.
Thus, trade liberalization may over time foster conditions conducive to political liberalization. This again suggests a virtuous cycle—trade liberalization
fosters democratization and democracy in turn may promote more trade liberalization, and so on.
Besides its effects on preferences and institutions, trade may constrain the
policy choices available to decision makers. The recent literature on internationalization, or globalization, suggests this constraining influence. Rodrik
(1997) provides some of the most direct evidence that greater openness
may force governments to relinquish the use of various policy instruments. In
particular, he notes that openness often makes governments cut spending on
social programs and reduce taxes on capital. In order to maintain competitiveness, governments are prevented from using many of the fiscal policy measures they once could.4 Whether such constraints are good or bad depends on
the value one places on government intervention in the economy. For some,
like Rodrik (1997), this constraint is worrisome because it reduces the government’s ability to shelter its citizens from external volatility and thus may erode
the public’s support for openness. Here the impact of trade liberalization may
not be benign. It may produce a backlash, creating pressures for protection and
In terms of international politics, trade liberalization may also have important effects. As countries become more open to the international economy, it
may affect their political relations with other countries. In particular, scholars
have asked whether increased trade promotes peace between countries or increases their chances of conflict. Several scholars, such as Polachek (1980),
4 4Many scholars have noted that in the presence of high capital mobility—another condition of
globalization—governments also lose control of their monetary policy, especially if they desire to
fix their exchange rates (e.g. Garrett 1998).
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
Gasioworski (1986), and Russett et al (1998), have found that increases in
trade flows among countries (or between pairs of them) decrease the chances
that those countries will be involved in political or military conflicts with each
other. Others, such as Waltz (1979) and Barbieri (1996), argue that increased
trade and the interdependence it creates either increase conflict or have little
effect on it. One way the rush to free trade might affect the international political system, then, is by increasing or decreasing the level of political-military
conflicts. The different arguments, however, imply different feedback mechanisms. If trade promotes pacific relations among trading nations, then such a
pacific environment is likely to stimulate further trade liberalization and
flows; on the other hand, if trade produces more conflict, then we might expect
more protectionism and less openness in the future.
These more dynamic models of how international trade and domestic politics interact are an important area of research. They may tell us a good deal
about what the rush to free trade, if sustained, may mean for the future. Will the
global liberalization process bring increasing pressures for more openness and
for democracy? Or will it undermine itself and breed demands for closure and
a backlash against governments and the international institutions that support
openness? Will openness produce a peaceful international system or one prone
to increasing political conflict? The answers to these questions will in turn tell
us much about the future direction of trade policy globally.
The question that I set out to address was why nations around the globe have
liberalized their trade policies since 1980. I examined the preeminent theories
of trade policy to see if they could help explain this monumental shift in policy.
In this section I assess how well they have done and where future research
might be useful.
Why have trade barriers been declining globally since 1980? Existing
theories suggest at least three plausible answers. The first involves changing
preferences about trade policy among domestic actors. Clearly, in the 1980s,
many political leaders and some societal groups in countries around the globe
changed their views on what their best trade policy choice was. Political leaders in the LDCs launched ambitious, unilateral economic reforms that included
massive trade liberalization, while leaders in the advanced industrial countries
undertook large-scale, multilateral efforts to reduce trade barriers. For the latter group, it is hard to pinpoint changes in political institutions or democratization as playing a major role. Instead, the virtuous cycle—growing trade creating more groups in favor of trade liberalization, which in turn created more
impetus for greater liberalization and more trade—seems to be a key factor.
For the LDCs, on the other hand, changes in leaders’ preferences and in politi-
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
cal institutions appear more important. The failure of ISI, economic crises,
the success of the relatively open Asian NICs, and the demise of a socialist alternative all combined to make leaders favor economic reforms that included
trade liberalization. Democratization in some countries also fostered this process. Large-scale changes in political institutions, especially in the direction of
democracy, may be necessary for the kind of massive trade liberalization that
occurred in some LDCs. But changes in preferences cannot be overlooked in
explaining the rush to free trade.
One might think that international factors would play a major role in this
global change in policy. But it is harder to argue this. Certainly, the collapse of
socialist and communist economies, which was part and parcel of the end of
the Cold War and the demise of the Eastern bloc, had an effect. Leaders could
no longer plausibly appeal to such models to justify their protectionist policies.
But it is important to remember that many of the unilateral reforms toward liberalization began in the early or mid 1980s, before the collapse of the Eastern
bloc. They also began at a time when many observers thought American hegemony was long past, especially economically. Perhaps most important was
the role of international institutions. For the advanced industrial countries, the
GATT allowed countries to design wide-ranging packages of reciprocal trade
concessions that fostered broad liberalization; in addition, the EU helped promote liberalization within an ever-growing Europe. For the LDCs, the role of
the IMF and World Bank may have played a larger role. Economic distress
forced countries to turn to these institutions for help, and part of the price was a
prescription of trade liberalization. Although for some leaders this prescription
fit with new trade preferences, for others it was a bitter pill to swallow and one
they would not have taken without external pressure.
Thus, changing preferences among political leaders and societal groups,
institutional changes (especially democratization), and the increased influence
of international institutions that supported trade liberalization may best explain
the global rush to free trade witnessed since 1980. Research on this puzzle is
certainly not complete, however. None of our existing theories by itself seems
to do very well in explaining this movement, the most important change in
trade policy globally since the end of World War II, and none appears to have
predicted it. A better understanding of how political leaders form their trade
preferences and how these preferences are connected to societal ones is essential. Moreover, theories about the relationship between democracy and trade are
in their infancy. Knowledge of the conditions under which international institutions are able to exert greater (or less) influence over countries is necessary.
Finally, we need to know whether the rush to free trade will be sustained or
reversed. Will trade barriers remain as low as they are and keep declining, or
will protectionism return? Again, I suspect that the factors that are responsible
for the initial change may have some bearing on this. If leaders’ or social
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
groups’ preferences for free trade are maintained or grow, then we might expect liberalization to remain in place. Factors, such as economic crises, that
cause actors to question these preferences will limit their sustainability. We
might also expect that the return of authoritarian governments would be associated with the return to protection, but democracy itself is not a sufficient
condition for liberalization. Finally, the role of international institutions seems
to be heightened by the severity of domestic economic crises. This suggests
that, as good times return, political leaders who do not favor free trade may reject the policies forced on them by their lenders and turn protectionist. These
and other factors will be important for understanding the sustainability of trade
liberalization. Our existing theories are perhaps even less helpful in explaining
sustainability than they are in explaining why countries liberalized in the first
I wish to thank David Baldwin, Jeffry Frieden, Stephan Haggard, Robert Jervis, and Dani Rodrik for their very helpful comments on an earlier draft of this
Visit the Annual Reviews home page at
Literature Cited
Alt J, Freiden J, Gilligan M, Rodrik D, Rogowski R. 1996. The political economy of
international trade. Comp. Polit. Stud. 29:
Anderson K. 1980. The political market for
government assistance to Australian manufacturing industries. Econ. Rec. 56:132–44
Baldwin R. 1986. The Political Economy of
US Import Policy. Cambridge, MA: MIT
Balestreri E. 1997. The performance of the
Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek model in predicting endogenous policy forces at the individual level. Can. J. Econ. 30:1–17
Barbieri K. 1996. Economic interdependence.
J. Peace Res. 33:29–49
Bates R, Krueger A, eds. 1993. Political and
Economic Interactions in Economic Policy
Reform. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell
Bauer R, Pool I, Dexter L. 1972. American
Business and Public Policy. Chicago:
Aldine Atherton
Bergsten CF, Noland M. 1993. Reconcilable
Differences? Washington, DC: Inst. Int.
Cameron D. 1978. The expansion of the public
economy. Am. Polit. Sci. Rev. 72:1243–61
Cardoso FH, E Faletto. 1979. Dependency and
Development in Latin America. Berkeley:
Univ. Calif. Press
Cassing J, McKeown T, Ochs J. 1986. The political economy of the tariff cycle. Am. Polit. Sci. Rev. 80:843–62
Caves R. 1976. Economic models of political
choice. Can. J. Econ. 9:278–300
Cohen BJ. 1990. The political economy of international trade. Int. Organ. 44:261–81
Conybeare J. 1982. The rent-seeking state and
revenue diversification. World Polit. 35:
Conybeare J. 1983. Tariff protection in developed and developing countries. Int. Organ.
Conybeare J. 1984. Public goods, prisoners dilemma and the international political economy. Int. Stud. Q. 28:5–22
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
Destler IM. 1986. American Trade Politics.
Washington, DC: Inst. Int. Econ.
Encarnation D.1992. Rivals Beyond Trade.
Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press
Epstein D, O’Halloran S. 1996. The partisan
paradox and the US tariff, 1877–1934. Int.
Organ. 50:301–24
Frieden J. 1990. Debt, Development and Democracy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ.
Frieden J, Rogowski R. 1996. The impact of
the international economy on national
policies. In Internationalization and Domestic Politics, ed. R Keohane, H Milner,
pp. 25–47. New York: Cambridge Univ.
Gallarotti G. 1985. Toward a business cycle
model of tariffs. Int. Organ. 39:155–87
Garrett G. 1998. Partisan Politics in the
Global Economy. New York: Cambridge
Univ. Press
Gasioworski M. 1986. Economic interdependence and international conflict. Int. Stud.
Q. 30:23–38
Gilligan M. 1997. Empowering Exporters.
Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich. Press
Gilpin R. 1987. The Political Economy of International Relations. Princeton, NJ:
Princeton Univ. Press
Goldstein J. 1988. Ideas, institutions and American trade policy. Int. Organ. 42:179–218
Goldstein J. 1993. Ideas, Interests and American Trade Policy. Ithaca, NY: Cornell
Univ. Press
Gowa J. 1994. Allies, Adversaries, and International Trade. Princeton, NJ: Princeton
Univ. Press
Gowa J, Mansfield E. 1993. Power politics and
international trade. Am. Polit. Sci. Rev. 87:
Greenaway D, Milner C. 1986. The Economics
of Intraindustry Trade. Oxford, UK:
Grossman GM, Helpman E. 1994. Protection
for sale. Am. Econ. Rev. 84:833–50
Haggard S. 1988. The institutional foundations of hegemony: explaining the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act of 1934. Int.
Organ. 42:91–120
Haggard S. 1995. Developing Nations and the
Politics of Global Integration. Washington, DC: Brookings Inst.
Haggard S, Kaufman R. 1995. The Political
Economy of Democratic Transitions.
Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press
Haggard S, Webb S, eds. 1994. Voting for Reform: Democracy, Political Liberalization, and Economic Adjustment. New
York: Oxford Univ. Press
Haldenius A.1992. Democracy and Development. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press
Hathaway O. 1998. Positive feedback. Int. Organ. 52:575–612
IMF. 1992. Issues and Developments in International Trade Policy. Washington, DC:
Irwin D. 1994. The political economy of free
trade. J. Law Econ. 37:75–108
Irwin D. 1996. Industry or class cleavages
over trade policy? In The Political Economy of Trade Policy, ed. Feenstra et al, pp.
53–75. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
James S, Lake D. 1989. The second face of hegemony. Int. Organ. 43:1–30
Katzenstein P. 1985. Small States in World
Markets. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press
Keohane R. 1984. After Hegemony. Princeton,
NJ: Princeton Univ. Press
Keohane R. 1997. Problem lucidity: Stephen
Krasner’s “State Power and the Structure
of International Trade.” World Polit. 50:
Krasner S. 1976. State power and the structure
of international trade. World Polit. 28:
Krueger A. 1997. Trade policy and economic
development: how we learn. Am. Econ.
Rev. 87: 1–22
Lake D. 1988. Power, Protection and Free
Trade. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press
Lake D. 1993. Leadership, hegemony and the
international economy. Int. Stud. Q. 37:
Lipson C. 1982. The transformation of trade.
Int. Organ. 36:417–56
Lohmann S, O’Halloran S. 1994. Divided government and US trade policy: theory and
evidence. Int. Organ. 48:595–632
Magee S. 1978. Three simple tests of the
Stopler-Samuelson Theorem. In Issues in
International Economics, ed. P Oppenheimer, pp. 138–53. London: Oriel
Magee S, Brock W, Young L. 1989. Black
Hole Tariffs and Endogenous Policy Theory. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press
Magee S, Young L. 1987. Endogenous protection in the US. In US Trade Policies
in a Changing World Economy, ed. R
Stern, pp. 145–95. Cambridge, MA: MIT
Mansfield E. 1994. Power, Trade and War.
Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press
Mansfield E, Bronson R. 1997. Alliances,
preferential trading arrangements, and international trade. Am. Polit. Sci. Rev. 91:
Mansfield E, Busch M. 1995. The political
economy of nontariff barriers: a crossnational analysis. Int. Organ. 49:723–49
Mansfield E, Milner H, Rosendorff BP. 1997.
Free to trade: democracies and international trade negotiations. Presented at
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
Annu. Meet. Am. Polit. Sci. Assoc., Washington, DC, Sept. 1997
Mansfield E, Milner H, Rosendorff BP. 1998.
Why do democracies cooperate more:
electoral control and international trade
negotiations. Presented at Annu. Meet.
Am. Polit. Sci. Assoc., San Francisco,
Sept. 1998
Marvel H, Ray E. 1983. The Kennedy round.
Am. Econ. Rev. 73:190–97
Mayer W. 1984. Endogenous tariff formation.
Am. Econ. Rev. 74:970–85
Midford P. 1993. International trade and domestic politics. Int. Organ. 47:535–64
Milner H. 1988. Resisting Protectionism.
Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press
Milner H. 1997. Interests, Institutions, and Information. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ.
Milner H, Rosendorff BP. 1996. Trade negotiations, information and domestic politics. Econ. Polit. 8:145–89
Nelson D. 1988. Endogenous tariff theory: a
critical survey. Am. J. Polit. Sci. 32:
O’Halloran S. 1994. Politics, Process and
American Trade Policy. Ann Arbor: Univ.
Mich. Press
Pincus J. 1975. Pressure groups and the pattern
of tariffs. J. Polit. Econ. 83:757–78
Polachek SW. 1980. Conflict and trade. J.
Conflict Resol. 24:55–78
Ray E. 1981. Determinants of tariff and nontariff restrictions in the US. J. Polit. Econ.
Reizman D, Wilson J. 1995. Politics and trade
policy. In Modern Political Economy, ed. J
Banks, E Hanuschek, pp. 108–44. New
York: Cambridge Univ. Press
Rodrik D. 1992. The limits to trade policy reform in LDCs. J. Econ. Perspect. 6:
Rodrik D. 1994. The rush to free trade in the
developing world. Why so late? Why now?
Will it last? In Voting for Reform: Democracy, Political Liberalization, and Economic Adjustment, ed. S Haggard, S Webb,
pp. 61–88. New York: Oxford Univ. Press
Rodrik D. 1995. Political economy of trade
policy. In Handbook of International Economics, Vol. 3, ed. G Grossman, K Rogoff,
pp. 1457–94. Netherlands: Elsevier
Rodrik D. 1997. Has Globalization Gone Too
Far? Washington, DC: Inst. Int. Econ.
Rogowski R. 1987. Trade and the variety of
democratic institutions. Int. Organ. 41:
Rogowski R. 1989. Commerce and Coalitions.
Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press
Ruggie J. 1983. International regimes, transactions and change. In International Regimes, ed. S Krasner, pp. 196–232. Ithaca,
NY: Cornell Univ. Press
Russett B. 1985. The mysterious case of vanishing hegemony; or is Mark Twain really
dead? Int. Organ. 39:207–32
Russett B, Oneal J, Davis D. 1998. The third
leg of the Kantian tripod for peace. Int. Organ. 52:441–68
Schattschneider EE. 1935. Politics, Pressures
and the Tariff. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
Scheve K, Slaughter M. 1998. What determines individual trade policy preferences?
Natl. Bur. Econ. Res. Work. Pap. No. 6531
Simmons B. 1994. Who Adjusts? Princeton,
NJ: Princeton Univ. Press
Smith A. 1937 (1776). The Wealth of Nations.
New York: Modern Library
Snidal D. 1985. The limits of hegemonic stability theory. Int. Organ. 39:579–614
Stolper W, Samuelson P. 1941. Protection and
real wages. Rev. Econ. Stud. 9:58–73
Strange S. 1987. The persistent myth of lost
hegemony. Int. Organ. 41:551–74
Takacs W. 1981. Pressures for protection.
Econ. Inq. 19:687–93
Trefler D. 1993. Trade liberalization and the
theory of endogenous protection. J. Polit.
Econ. 101:138–60
Tsebelis G. 1995. Decision-making in political systems: veto players in presidentialism, parliamentarism, multicameralism
and multipartism. Br. J. Polit. Sci. 25:
Verdier D. 1998. Democratic convergence and
free trade? Int. Stud. Q. 42:1–24
Wallerstein M. 1987. Unemployment, collective bargaining and the demand for protection. Am. J. Polit. Sci. 31:729–52
Waltz K. 1979. Theory of International Politics. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley
Wintrobe R. 1998. The Political Economy of
Dictatorship. New York: Cambridge
Univ. Press
Wood A. 1994. North-South Trade, Unemployment and Inequality. Oxford, UK:
WTO. 1996. Annual Report 1996: Trade and
Foreign Direct Investment. Vol. 1. Geneva: World Trade Organ.
Yarbrough BV, Yarbrough RM. 1992. Cooperation and Governance in International
Trade: The Strategic Organizational Approach. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ.
Annual Review of Political Science
Volume 2, 1999
Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 1999.2:91-114. Downloaded from
Access provided by 2600:1700:b698:4100:ed88:8252:499a:92fc on 02/10/21. For personal use only.
Findings and Theoretical Debates, Paul K. Huth
GOVERNMENTS, Arthur L. Stinchcombe
POLITICAL SCIENCE: A Neglected Agenda, Heinz Eulau, Susan
Helen V. Milner
TWENTY YEARS, Barbara Geddes
TERM LIMITS, Bruce E. Cain, Marc A. Levin
Donald Green
THE ROCHESTER SCHOOL: The Origins of Positive Political
Theory, S. M. Amadae, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita
SYSTEMS, Stathis N. Kalyvas
ISAIAH BERLIN: Political Theory and Liberal Culture, Alan Ryan
ISAIAH BERLIN (1909–1997), Noel Annan
POLITICS, Kathleen Thelen
International Relations and Comparative Politics, J. Jupille, J. A.
Sergio Fabbrini
Choices about Concepts, David Collier, Robert Adcock
INO58~3! 583-5
13:53 PM
The Impact of Leadership Turnover
on Trading Relations Between States
Fiona McGillivray and Alastair Smith
We test how domestic political institutions moderate the effect of leadership turnover on relations between states+ Deriving hypotheses from recent theoretical work, Bueno de Mesquita et al+ and McGillivray and Smith, we examine how
leader change affects trading relations between states using dyadic trade data+ Consistent with hypotheses, we find that large winning coalition systems, such as democracies, are relatively immune from the vagaries of leadership change+ In such systems,
trade remains relatively constant whether leader change occurs or not+ In contrast,
when winning coalition size is small, as in autocratic states, leadership change profoundly alters relations, causing a decline in trade+ Finally, we examine instances of
poor relations, measured by a significant decline in trade compared to historical levels+ As predicted, instances of poor relations are less common between pairs of democracies than other dyadic pairings+ Further, leadership turnover in autocratic systems
restores trading relations between states+ The effect of leadership change in democracies is much less pronounced+
Since first drafting this article, the United States has invaded Iraq and deposed its
leader Saddam Hussein+ For more than a decade Iraq experienced harsh economic
sanctions+ With Hussein’s removal, these sanctions have been lifted and Iraq is in
the processes of being reinstated into the international community+ Although it
was the Iraqi people who bore the costs of the sanctions, the sanctions were aimed
at Hussein’s regime+ With Hussein removed, the prospects for improved relations
between Iraq and Western states look strong+
While Iraq offers an extreme example, this article assesses how the turnover
of leaders affects relations between states, as measured by trade flows+ In particular, drawing on recent theoretical developments, we examine how domestic institutions and leadership turnover affect dyadic trade flows+ Consistent with the
theoretical arguments, we find that trade flows between states depend on the interaction of institutions and leader turnover+
An earlier version of this article was prepared for the 2002 Peace Science Society meeting in Tucson, Arizona+ We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the National Science Foundation,
SES-0226926+ We thank John Oneal and Bruce Russet for generously making their data available to
us+ We thank audiences at New York University, the University of Rochester, Yale University, and
several anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments+
International Organization 58, Summer 2004, pp+ 567–600
© 2004 by The IO Foundation+
DOI: 10+10170S0020818304583054
INO58~3! 583-5
13:53 PM
PAGE: 568
International Organization
Scholars, such as Russett and Oneal, have documented that democratic states
have higher trade flows than states with less representative institutions+1 We shift
the focus of analysis+ Rather than examining how institutions affect cross-sectional
differences in trade flows, we study the dynamics of dyadic trade flows by looking
at how leadership turnover changes trade+ Domestic political institutions determine whether leadership change affects trade+ Where leaders require the support
of a large proportion of the population to remain in power, as in democratic systems, leadership turnover has no impact on trade flows+ In contrast, when leader
survival requires the support of only a small fraction of the population, as in many
autocratic systems, leadership turnover harms trade+ Indeed, our estimates suggest
that on average the turnover of an autocratic leader reduces dyadic trade with the
United States by about 5 percent+ Under general circumstances, leadership turnover harms trade in autocratic, but not in democratic systems+ However, when
relations with an autocratic state are sour, as measured by trade flows substantially below recent historical averages, the replacement of an autocratic leader reinvigorates trade+
During the past decade, much attention has been placed on the role of domestic
political institutions in shaping relations between states+ Perhaps most prominent
is the attention given to the democratic peace: the finding that democratic states
do not fight each other+2 Although controversy remains on some questions, there is
growing consensus that democracies fight each other less, trade more, ally more,
and join more intergovernmental organizations together+3 Much theorizing has been
done to account for these findings+ Several recent theories look intensively at the
incentives of individual leaders and how these are shaped by institutional arrangements+ These theoretical developments highlight the importance of how individual leaders respond to institutionally created incentives when forming policy+ It is
these theories that provide the point of departure for our investigation into how
leader turnover influences the dynamics of trade flows+
We proceed as follows+ First, we discuss the theoretical connections between
leader turnover, institutions, and relations between states+ Second, we examine the
theoretical implication of these arguments in the context of international trade and
derive testable hypotheses+ Although the theories predict that domestic institutions
influence the level of trade between states, these effects have already been extensively investigated by others+4 We focus our attention on the dynamic effect of
leadership turnover, which to our knowledge has not been examined before+ Third,
1+ Russett and Oneal 2001+
2+ See Bremer 1992; Bueno de Mesquita et al+ 1999; Dixon 1994; Lake 1992; Levy 1988; Maoz
and Abdolali 1989; Maoz and Russett 1993; Ray 1995; and Rousseau, Gelpi, Reiter, and Huth 1996+
3+ Russett and Oneal 2001+
4+ Much of this literature stems from investigations into whether trade explains the democratic peace+
See Bliss and Russett 1998; Gowa 1994; Mansfield and Pevehouse 2000; Mansfield and Pollins 2001;
Milner and Rosendorff 1997; Morrow, Siverson, and Taberes 1998; Oneal 2003; Oneal and Russett
1997, 1999a, 1999b, 2000, and 2001; Polachek 1997; Pollins 1989; Reuveny 2000 and 2001; and
Reuveny and Kang 1996, and 1998+
INO58~3! 583-5
13:53 PM
PAGE: 569
Impact of Leadership Turnover on Trade
we describe our data and methods+ Fourth, we report our statistical findings for
dyadic trading relations involving the United States+ We provide a statistical Appendix in which we examine trade between all country dyads+ We conclude with a
discussion of the substantive importance of our results+
Theories of Institutions, Leader Survival,
and Policy Choice
Domestic political institutions shape the incentives and hence the policy choices
of political leaders+ In particular, leaders want to pick policies that help them survive in office+ Although these assumptions form the basis of many theoretical
approaches to explaining the effects of institutions on policy formation, we focus
our attention on two specific arguments: the Bueno de Mesquita et al+ theory of
the selectorate and winning coalition, and McGillivray and Smith’s theory of leader
specific punishments+5 With respect to policy choice, both these theories focus on
the ease of leader removal and the desire of leaders to keep their jobs+ We now
describe these arguments and then derive their implications for dyadic patterns of
international trade+
Bueno de Mesquita et al+ ~hereafter BdM2S2! classify domestic political institutions according to the number of people whose support a leader requires to retain
power—the winning coalition, W—and the number of people from whom this coalition of supporters is drawn—the selectorate, S+ These continuous dimensions of
winning coalition and selectorate are logically distinct from traditional categorical
classifications of regime types+ However, it is useful for illustration to place traditional categories of regimes within the W and S framework+ Modern liberal democracies typically have large selectorates ~usually consisting of all adult citizens!
and the winning coalition size is also large, being some portion ~often around a
half ! of the selectorate+ Monarchies and military juntas are examples of regimes
with both small winning coalitions and small selectorates+ Autocratic states typically have a small W, although they experience considerable variation in the size
of S+ The types of policies and the survival of leaders are fundamentally influenced by these institutional variables+
Leaders, assumed to have a fixed set of available resources, produce two types
of goods: public goods that benefit all members of society and private goods that
benefit only those in the incumbent’s winning coalition+ When the winning coalition is small, the incumbent is only beholden to a small group to retain power+
Under such circumstances, incumbent leaders can effectively enrich members of
their coalition through the provision of private goods+ Hence, in small coalition
systems, BdM2S2 anticipate that leaders will foster patronage, cronyism, and corruption rather than effective implementation of public policy+ The former secures
5+ See Bueno de Mesquita et al 1999, 2002, and 2003; and McGillivray and Smith 2000+
INO58~3! 583-5
13:53 PM
PAGE: 570
International Organization
the leaders’ tenure in office; the latter, while better policy, harms the leaders’ prospects for survival+
In contrast, if domestic political institutions require leaders to maintain the support of a large number of individuals in order to keep their job, then leaders will
promote effective public policy+ In these large coalition systems, such as democracies, leaders cannot effectively reward their supporters through private goods+
There are simply too many people to reward and private goods provision stretches
the pool of available resources too thinly+ Under these circumstances, leaders can
reward their voluminous supporters more cost effectively through public goods
provision+ The size of the winning coalition determines the type of policies that
leaders produce+
Of course in reality all policies have both public and private components+ However, this does not diminish the finding that coalition size drives the relative public or private focus of policy provision+ An illustration is useful+ Like many other
countries, Kenya uses agricultural boards to regulate its domestic market for agricultural goods+ These boards buy agricultural products at fixed prices+ When set
up properly, agricultural boards help to protect farmers from the vagaries of market prices and provide stable food prices for urban populations, both broad-based
benefits+ Unfortunately, as in the Kenyan case, these state-run boards can also be
used to enrich the few at the expense of the many+ In the 1960s, Kenya’s first
president, Jomo Kenyatta, promoted agricultural interests and sugar was grown as
a cash crop in the Western Province and Nyanaz+ Through the use of the sugar
board and prohibitive import tariffs, Kenyatta’s successor, Daniel Arap Moi,
enriched his cronies and decimated the sugar industry+ The high external tariff
kept Kenya’s domestic sugar price high+ However, farmers did not reap these benefits+ Farmers sold their sugar at a set price through the Kenyan Sugar Authority
where it was sold on to Kenyan consumers at high prices—about three times the
world price+ Moi’s supporters then imported sugar duty free on the pretext that it
was in transit to Tanzania and Uganda+ Rather than using the sugar board as a
public good to insulate farmers and provide stable food prices, Moi sacrificed a
profitable industry to fill the coffers of the ruling KANU party and Moi’s cronies+6
The larger a leader’s winning coalition, the greater his or her focus on public
rather than private goods+ In addition to determining the quality of policies a leader
provides, winning coalition size, especially in conjunction with selectorate size,
determines the quantity of policy produced+ BdM2S2 assume that the primary focus
of leaders is to survive+ They characterize how many of the available resources a
leader must expend to match the best possible offer of a challenger+ The smaller
the coalition size and the larger the selectorate the easier it becomes for leaders to
better the offer of any potential challenger+ Hence when W is small and S is large,
leaders survive easily and can skim off resources for their own discretionary pur-
6+ See “Kenyan Sugar Growers Taste Corruption’s Bitter Fruits,” Times Media Limited, 26 August
1997; and Throup and Hornsby 1998+
INO58~3! 583-5
13:53 PM
PAGE: 571
Impact of Leadership Turnover on Trade
poses+ The derivation of this result is as follows+ When the coalition size is small,
then leaders predominantly rely on private goods to reward their supporters+ This
means that the welfare of those outside the coalition is substantially lower than
that of persons within the coalition+ This creates a loyalty norm toward the incumbent+ Although a potential challenger might offer to spend every available penny
as efficiently as possible in order to come to power, having attained office this
challenger forms a coalition of size W from the available S potential supporters+
The fact that the challenger will pick W supporters from the potential pool of S
supporters makes defecting to the challenger risky+7 Even though a supporter might
have been essential in bringing a challenger to office, this does not guarantee the
supporter a place in the newly installed challenger’s long-term coalition+ In
contrast, the incumbent has already shown a propensity to retain supporters in
the incumbent’s coalition+ Defection to a challenger is risky+ This risk is the probability of exclusion from the challenger’s future coalitions+ This risk is increasing
in S, the size of the pool from which future leaders can choose supporters, and
decreasing in W, the number of supporters that a leader needs+ Coalition size also
influences the cost of future exclusion+ When W is large and hence rewards are
predominately public in nature, supporters have little to fear from future exclusion+ Yet, when W is small and hence rewards are private in nature, the cost of
exclusion is high+ This combination of risks and costs creates a strong loyalty norm
toward leaders in small coalition systems, especially when the selectorate is large+
This loyalty norm makes it easy for leaders to survive even if they offer benefits
that are substantially lower than those offered by potential challengers+ In addition
to surviving easily, leaders in such systems can skim off resources for their own
discretionary purposes+
BdM2S2 use their theoretical framework to explain a vast array of political phenomena+ While we commend the breadth of their theory’s applicability, for our
current purpose we exploit only some of these implications+ In particular, BdM2S2
provide a metric to measure the ease of leader removal+ The smaller W, the harder
leader removal becomes and the greater the discretion leaders have in their policy
choices+ Indeed, as long as leaders in small W systems ensure that their supporters
receive some amount of private goods, they are unencumbered with respect to the
rest of their policy choices+ Once this minimal threshold is reached, leaders that
are beholden to only a small numbers of supporters are unconstrained and can
adopt whatever idiosyncratic policies they wish+ Their political survival is isolated from these policy choices+ Kenya’s President Moi managed to survive in
office despite abysmal policy performance+ Between the time he came to power in
1978 and his departure from office at the end of 2002, per capita income grew
7+ In BdM2S2’s formal models, leaders have different affinities for each of the possible supporters+
In equilibrium, a leader forms a coalition from the W highest affinity members of S+ Because less is
known about the affinity structure of the relatively unknown challenger, potential defectors cannot be
certain of being among the top W affinity types+
INO58~3! 583-5
13:53 PM
PAGE: 572
International Organization
less than 5 percent+ By way of comparison, U+S+ per capita income grew by about
50 percent over the same period+
In contrast, the survival of leaders in large coalition systems is always in jeopardy+ Although such leaders focus on policies that promote public welfare, so do
their potential challengers+ Given the relatively small importance of private goods
in such systems, there is little loyalty toward the incumbent+ If the challenger offers
better public policy ideas then the incumbent’s, supporters defect because they
have little to fear in terms of either the risk or the cost of future exclusion+ Leaders in large W systems must always strive for better public policy to survive+ They
have little wiggle room for their own discretionary policies, and despite their best
efforts, such leaders are frequently removed+ Indeed, BdM2S2 show at great length,
that despite their superior performance, leaders from large coalition systems are
removed more frequently than their small coalition counterparts+ Repeating their
mantra: in large coalition systems good policy is good politics, but in small coalition systems bad policy is good politics+
Having used BdM2S2 arguments to derive a measure of the ease of leader
removal, W, and to show that the larger W, the greater leaders work toward maximizing public welfare, we now turn to a discussion of McGillivray and Smith’s
model of interstate cooperation+ The prisoners’ dilemma is commonly conceived
as a metaphor for cooperation+8 In this game, each state chooses whether to cooperate or cheat its trading partner+ The game is structured such that although both
sides prefer mutual cooperation to neither side cooperating, each side also prefers
to exploit the cooperation of the other state+ Because exploiting the other side is
the most preferable outcome and being exploited is the worst possible outcome,
both sides have a dominant strategy to cheat+ The gains from trade go unrealized+
Although myopically cooperation is impossible, liberal theorists point out the
possibility of cooperation by conditioning current behavior on previous outcomes+9
In particular, if states refuse to cooperate with states who have previously cheated
them, then noncheating states can enforce cooperation providing the net present
value of being able to …
Purchase answer to see full

Why Choose Us

  • 100% non-plagiarized Papers
  • 24/7 /365 Service Available
  • Affordable Prices
  • Any Paper, Urgency, and Subject
  • Will complete your papers in 6 hours
  • On-time Delivery
  • Money-back and Privacy guarantees
  • Unlimited Amendments upon request
  • Satisfaction guarantee

How it Works

  • Click on the “Place Order” tab at the top menu or “Order Now” icon at the bottom and a new page will appear with an order form to be filled.
  • Fill in your paper’s requirements in the "PAPER DETAILS" section.
  • Fill in your paper’s academic level, deadline, and the required number of pages from the drop-down menus.
  • Click “CREATE ACCOUNT & SIGN IN” to enter your registration details and get an account with us for record-keeping and then, click on “PROCEED TO CHECKOUT” at the bottom of the page.
  • From there, the payment sections will show, follow the guided payment process and your order will be available for our writing team to work on it.