What Kinds of Trade Liberalization Agreements Do People in Developing Countries Want?
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
One of the most striking developments in the global economy in the past decades is the rapid proliferation of preferential trade agreements (PTAs), with many of them concluded among or with participation of developing countries. On the presumption that current popular debates on trade policy are not so much about whether citizens want free trade but rather what kinds of trade liberalization they want, we examine individual trade policy preferences with regard to PTAs that can vary in content along several dimensions. To that end we carried out conjoint choice experiments embedded in representative surveys in three developing countries that differ strongly in income levels, political system, and trade liberalization history: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Vietnam. We conceptualize trade policy preferences as preferences over the scale and scope of trade liberalization, environmental and labor standards, and labor market access (migration). Two main findings emerge. First, non-economic considerations, such as sympathy/antipathy toward particular countries and environmental and labor rights concerns influence citizens’ preferences at least as much as factors based on standard economic logic. Second, preferences over particular facets (attributes) of trade liberalization, that is PTA content, are surprisingly consistent across countries, despite strong differences in macro-economic and political context. Show more
Journal / seriesInternational interactions
SubjectConjoint experiments; preferential trade agreements; public opinion
Organisational unit03446 - Bernauer, Thomas / Bernauer, Thomas
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