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Suspiciously Timed Trade Disputes

On 12th  December 2016 (1-2pm) Georg Kirchsteiger, Professor of Microeconomics at the European Center of Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) of the free University of Brussel, will give a presentation about “Suspiciously Timed Trade Disputes" in Q4.245. Afterwards, Mr. Kirchsteiger will be available for questions and discussions. His presentation is part of


This paper shows that electoral incentives crucially a_ect the initiation of trade disputes. Focusing on WTO disputes _led by the United States during the 1995 - 2014 period, we find that U.S. presidents are more likely to initiate a dispute in the year preceding their re-election. Moreover, U.S. trade disputes are more likely to involve industries that are important in swing states. To explain these regularities, we develop a theoretical model in which re-election motives can lead an incumbent politician to _le trade disputes to appeal to voters motivated by reciprocity.


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