Votes, Vetoes, and the Political Economy of International Trade Agreements

Votes, Vetoes, and the Political Economy of International Trade Agreements

by Edward D. Mansfield
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Overview

Votes, Vetoes, and the Political Economy of International Trade Agreements by Edward D. Mansfield, Helen Milner

Preferential trading arrangements (PTAs) play an increasingly prominent role in the global political economy, two notable examples being the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement. These agreements foster economic integration among member states by enhancing their access to one another's markets. Yet despite the importance of PTAs to international trade and world politics, until now little attention has been focused on why governments choose to join them and how governments design them. This book offers valuable new insights into the political economy of PTA formation. Many economists have argued that the roots of these agreements lie in the promise they hold for improving the welfare of member states. Others have posited that trade agreements are a response to global political conditions. Edward Mansfield and Helen Milner argue that domestic politics provide a crucial impetus to the decision by governments to enter trade pacts. Drawing on this argument, they explain why democracies are more likely to enter PTAs than nondemocratic regimes, and why as the number of veto players--interest groups with the power to block policy change--increases in a prospective member state, the likelihood of the state entering a trade agreement is reduced. The book provides a novel view of the political foundations of trade agreements.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691135298
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 05/27/2012
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author


Edward D. Mansfield is the Hum Rosen Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Helen V. Milner is the B. C. Forbes Professor of Public Affairs at Princeton University.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables vii

Preface and Acknowledgments ix

Commonly Used Abbreviations xi

Chapter 1: Introduction 1

What Are PTAs and Why Are They Important? 5

Economic Effects of PTAs 7

Political and Security Effects of PTAs 8

PTAs in Historical Perspective 9

The Effects of Domestic Politics on PTAs: The Argument in Brief 14

The Broader Theoretical Context 19

Organization of the Book 21

Chapter 2: A Political Economy Theory of International Trade Agreements 23

A Political Economy Theory of PTAs 24

Examining the Assumptions Underlying the Theory 30

An Alternative Argument about PTAs and Domestic Politics:

The Role of Interest Groups 37

Regime Type, Domestic Political Costs, and PTAs 41

Two Cases of Democracy and PTA Formation: SADC and Mercosur 45

Veto Players, Transaction Costs, and PTAs 55

Some Illustrations of the Effects of Veto Players on PTA Formation 58

Further Effects of Domestic Politics on International Trade Agreements: Auxiliary Hypotheses 63

Conclusion 68

Chapter 3: Systemic Influences on PTA Formation 70

International Influences on PTA Formation 71

The Models and Estimation Procedures 77

Estimates of the Parameters 83

The GATT/WTO and PTA Formation 88

Conclusions 90

Chapter 4: Regime Type, Veto Players, and PTA Formation 93

Two Theoretical Propositions 93

Empirical Tests of the Hypotheses 96

Results of the Empirical Analysis 104

Robustness Checks 113

Conclusions 121

Chapter 5: Auxiliary Hypotheses about Domestic Politics

and Trade Agreements 122

PTAs and the Longevity of Political Leaders 124

Partisanship and PTAs 128

Regime Type and Exposure to the International Economy 129

Autocracies, Political Competition, and PTAs 132

The Extent of Proposed Integration and Enforcement 137

Ratification Delay and Veto Players 145

Conclusions 151

Chapter 6: Conclusions 155

The Argument and Evidence in Brief 156

Some Implications for the Study of International Relations 161

PTAs and the World Economy 171

PTAs and the International Political Economy: Power and Politics 174

Bibliography 179

Index 201

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