On 24th April 2017 (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". This time the presentation takes place in Q5.245. Afterwards, Mr. Kirchsteiger will be available for questions and discussions. His presentation is part of https://wiwi.uni-paderborn.de/dep1/me/research/discussing-research/seam/.
This paper shows that electoral incentives crucially affect 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 file trade disputes to appeal to voters motivated by reciprocity.