Author's note: I would like to thank Chris Achen, Matt Beckman, Alan Deardorff, Laura Evans, Rob Franzese, Rick Hall, Mike Hanmer, Jude Hays, Corrine McConnaughy, Will Moore, James D. Morrow, Won-Ho Park, Clint Peinhardt, Steve Poe, Mark Souva, Jeff Staton, and three anonymous reviewers for advice and comments on this article and Yoshi Ono for excellent research assistance. All errors are, of course, my own. The data used in this article are available through the Dataverse Network Project (http://dvn.iq.harvard.edu/dvn/dv/isq) and on the ISA data archive online at http://www.isanet.org/data_archive.html.
The Tariff and the Lobbyist: Political Institutions, Interest Group Politics, and U.S. Trade Policy
Version of Record online: 27 MAY 2008
© 2008 International Studies Association
International Studies Quarterly
Volume 52, Issue 2, pages 427–445, June 2008
How to Cite
Ehrlich, S. D. (2008), The Tariff and the Lobbyist: Political Institutions, Interest Group Politics, and U.S. Trade Policy. International Studies Quarterly, 52: 427–445. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2478.2008.00508.x
- Issue online: 27 MAY 2008
- Version of Record online: 27 MAY 2008
During the twentieth century, the United States shifted from embracing protectionism to being an advocate for global free trade. Scholarly debate has focused on whether this shift was solely because of changes in preferences or if changes to institutions also played a role. Relying upon access point theory, this article argues that an institutional change, delegation to the President, led to endogenous changes in preferences. Delegation makes it harder for interest groups to gain access to policy makers, which should raise the costs of all lobbying. As protectionists dominate lobbying due to their collective action advantage, they will be disproportionately hurt. Thus, delegation should lead to less lobbying and lower tariff rates. These arguments are tested on time series data of tariff rates using an Error Correction Mechanism model and on data on interest group testimony before Congressional committees.