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Does electoral strength affect politician's trade policy preferences? Evidence from Japan

Ito, Banri (2015): Does electoral strength affect politician's trade policy preferences? Evidence from Japan.

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Abstract

This study examines the effect of electoral strength on politician's trade policy preferences using data of candidates running for the members of the House of Representatives in Japan. The results reveal that the electoral strength measured by the margin of vote affects candidates' trade policy preferences after controlling attributes of candidates and constituencies. Specifically, candidates who face a close race in election are more likely to be protectionist than those who are expected to be elected by a substantial majority, suggesting that electoral competitions deter politicians from supporting trade liberalization. This result is robust to the model with the margin of vote as an endogenous variable.

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