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Live or let die : intra-sectoral lobbying on entry.

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  • Political Science

Abstract

Since the GATT/WTO hinders tariffs manipulation, the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT's) are a growing and appealing protection tool. The endogenous protection literature has shown that a government's taste for protection creates an incentive for lobbying. Since regulations at the origin of such barriers have to be borne also by domestic sectors, due to the National Treatment WTO's principle, this creates conflicts of interests within a sector enhancing an intra-sectoral competition. This paper develops a political economy framework based on common agency under complete information that highlights this issue. The political competition opposes productive versus non productive firms in this context rather than domestic versus foreign ones, contrasting with the literature. Some apparently unorganized sectors, i.e. that are not protected, may actually be sectors where lobbies are biased towards non productive firms. Therefore, we should be cautious when empirically studying the relationship between the levels of protection and contributions.

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