Political competition and policy choices: the evidence from agricultural protection

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Abstract

This article investigates whether political competition plays an important role in determining the level of agricultural protection. In order to do so, we exploit variation in political and economic data from 74 developing and developed countries for the post-war period. We use two measures of political competition: one that captures the extent to which political power can be freely contested regardless of election results and one based on vote share at last parliamentary elections. Our results, based on static and dynamic panel estimators, show unambiguously that the higher the level of political competitions is, the higher the agricultural protection.

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