Public Choice

, Volume 135, Issue 3–4, pp 91–107 | Cite as

Using state-level simulations in a political economy model of US trade policy

  • Hugh M. Arce
  • Robert B. Koopman
  • Marinos Tsigas


Most analyses of US congressional votes on trade policy identify political and economic factors, and general economic conditions as significant factors. In this paper we examine whether simulated state-level impacts of trade policy changes obtained from an applied general equilibrium model explain recent US Senate votes on trade bills. We find that simulated gross state product effects are good predictors of recent trade-policy votes. Our model-based measures of trade sensitivity perform slightly better in statistical terms than the more traditional economic measures. For the Senate as a whole, import considerations have a larger impact on senate voting than export considerations.


US trade policy Congressional voting State-level impacts Applied general equilibrium 


F13 D72 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Armington, P. S. (1969). A theory of demand for products distinguished by place of production. IMF Staff Papers, 16, 159–176. Google Scholar
  2. Baldwin, R. E., & Magee, C. S. (2000). Is trade policy for sale? Congressional voting on recent trade bills. Public Choice, 105, 79–101. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Black, D. (1958). The theory of committees and elections. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
  4. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2003). News: union members in 2002. News release USDL 03-88. Washington, DC: US Department of Labor. Data available at
  5. Canning, P., & Tsigas, M. E. (2000). Regionalism, federalism, and taxation: a food and farm perspective. Technical Bulletin No. 1882. Washington, DC: Economic Research Service, US Department of Agriculture. Google Scholar
  6. Center for Responsive Politics (2005). Contributions to members of the Senate, 108th Congress. Data available at
  7. Das, G. G., Alavalapati, J. R. R., Carter, D. R., & Tsigas, M. E. (2005). Regional impacts of environmental regulations and technical change in the US forestry sector: a multiregional CGE analysis. Forest Policy and Economics, 7, 25–38. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dixon, P. B., & Rimmer, M. T. (2001). MONASH-USA: creating a 1992 benchmark input-output database. Clayton: Centre of Policy Studies, Monash University. Google Scholar
  9. Dixon, P. B., & Rimmer, M. T. (2002). USAGE-ITC: theoretical structure. Clayton: Centre of Policy Studies, Monash University. Google Scholar
  10. Dixon, P. B., & Rimmer, M. T. (2003). USAGE-ITC: creating historical shocks for 1992 to 1998. Clayton: Centre of Policy Studies, Monash University. Google Scholar
  11. Dixon, P. B., Parmenter, B. R., & Sutton, J. (1978). Spatial disaggregation of ORANI results: a preliminary analysis of the impact of protection at the state level. Economic Analysis and Policy, 8, 35–86. Google Scholar
  12. Dixon, P. B., Rimmer, M. T., & Tsigas, M. (2004). Creating a USAGE-ITC database for 2002. Clayton: Centre of Policy Studies, Monash University. Google Scholar
  13. Donnelly, W. A., Johnson, K., Tsigas, M., & Ingersoll, D. (2004). Revised Armington elasticities of substitution for the USITC model and the concordance for constructing a consistent set for the GTAP model (Office of Economics Research Note No. 2004-01-A). Washington, DC: US International Trade Commission. Google Scholar
  14. Drope, J. M., & Hansen, W. L. (2004). Purchasing protection? The effect of political spending on US trade policy. Political Research Quarterly, 57, 27–37. Google Scholar
  15. Grimmett, J. J. (2005). Why certain trade agreements are approved as congressional-executive agreements rather than as treaties (CRS Report to Congress). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress. Google Scholar
  16. Griswold, D. (2005). Free trade, free markets: rating the 108th Congress (Trade Policy Studies No. 28). Washington, DC: Cato Institute. Google Scholar
  17. Hansen, W. L., & Prusa, T. J. (1997a). The economics and politics of trade policy: an empirical analysis of ITC decision-making. Review of International Economics, 5, 230–245. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hansen, W. L., & Prusa, T. J. (1997b). The role of the median legislator in US trade policy: a historical analysis. Economic Inquiry, 35, 97–107. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Harrison, W. J., & Pearson, K. R. (2002). An introduction to GEMPACK (6th ed.) (GEMPACK Document No. 1). Clayton: Centre of Policy Studies, Monash University. Google Scholar
  20. Hertel, T. W. (Ed.). (1997). Global trade analysis: modeling and applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
  21. Hertel, T. W., Hummels, D., Ivanic, M., & Roman, K. (2003). How confident can we be in CGE-based assessments of free trade agreements? (GTAP Working Paper No. 26). West Lafayette: Center for Global Trade Analysis, Purdue University. Google Scholar
  22. Kamdar, N., & Gonzalez, J. G. (1998). An empirical analysis of the US Senate vote on NAFTA and GATT. International Advances in Economic Research, 4, 105–114. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lawson, A. M. (1997). Benchmark input-output accounts for the US economy, 1992: make, use, and supplementary tables. Survey of Current Business, 77, 36–82. Washington, DC: Bureau of Economic Analysis, US Department of Commerce. Google Scholar
  24. Leontief, W., Morgan, A., Polenske, K., Simpson, D., & Tower, E. (1965). The economic impact—industrial and regional—of an arms cut. Review of Economics and Statistics, 47, 217–241. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Liew, L. H. (1984). Tops-down’ versus ‘bottoms-up’ approaches to regional modeling. Journal of Policy Modeling, 6, 351–67. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Reksulak, M., Karahan, G. R., & Shughart II, W. F. (2007). Flags of our fathers: voting on confederate symbols in the state of Georgia. Public Choice, 131, 83–99. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Richardson, Jr., L.E., & Munger, M. C. (1990). Shirking, representation, and congressional behavior: voting on the 1983 amendments to the social security act. Public Choice, 67, 11–33. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. United States International Trade Commission. (2004). The economic effects of significant US import restraints: fourth update 2004 (Investigation No. 332-325). Publication 3701. Washington, DC. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugh M. Arce
    • 1
  • Robert B. Koopman
    • 1
  • Marinos Tsigas
    • 1
  1. 1.US International Trade CommissionWashingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations