Chapter

Community and Trade Preferences

Alexandra Guisinger

in American Opinion on Trade

Published in print August 2017 | ISBN: 9780190651824
Published online August 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190651862 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190651824.003.0005
Community and Trade Preferences

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This chapter describes the impact on trade preference of two aspects of a community that, according to the model of preference formation proposed, influence individuals’ information-gathering costs: the concentration of import-competing jobs and residential turnover. Chapters 5 argues that the extent and effectiveness of this incorporation of sociotropic considerations depends greatly on how easily individuals can tap into community concerns. In our post-NAFTA economy, diminished concentrations of import-competing industries and increased community turnover have muddied traditional sources of local information about economic impacts and increased the difficulty of individuals’ determining what is best for their community. Using three decades of survey data, chapter 5 shows the strong impact of high residential turnover and low import-competing employment concentration on increased uncertainty about benefits of trade at the regional level and lower levels of support for trade protection. Analysis of voters’ knowledge of roll call (recorded) vote during the 109th Congress finds that these community factors relate to the political salience of trade policy in communities. The chapter concludes with illustrations from Texas and New York about how politicians in low information districts are able to take stances regarding trade in opposition to the majority of their constituents.

Keywords: protectionism; policy preference formation; sociotropism; residential turnover, import-competing industries; import-competing jobs; industry concentration; regional economic information; policy salience; congressional districts; political geography; representation

Chapter.  12061 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

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