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American Opinion on TradePreferences without Politics$
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Alexandra Guisinger

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190651824

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190651824.001.0001

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Economic Vulnerability, Self-Interest, and Individual Trade Preferences

Economic Vulnerability, Self-Interest, and Individual Trade Preferences

(p.78) Chapter 4 Economic Vulnerability, Self-Interest, and Individual Trade Preferences
American Opinion on Trade

Alexandra Guisinger

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 provides an original explanation both for why women and minorities are more likely to express protectionist sentiments and for why those protectionist sentiments are not reflected in their voting. The chapter provides an extension of standard models of individual economic well-being to consider trade’s effect not only on wages but also on employment volatility, which is increased by openness to foreign trade. The chapter offers analysis of original survey data from 2006 and 2010 and three decades of American National Election Studies to confirm the previously observed gender gap and newly identified racial gap in trade preferences. The chapter then presents two experimental surveys testing alternative causal mechanisms for the divides. Both experiments vary the type of information provided to respondents about trade partners and potential benefits of trade. In both cases, experiments show stability in women and non-whites preferences for trade and variability in white men’s preferences. Next, the chapter reinvestigates the salience of trade by gender and racial groupings and shows low salience among women and non-whites. The chapter concludes with a description of who might benefit from women and minorities stable preferences and why so few organizations seek to do so.

Keywords:   gender gap, racial gap, employment vulnerability, trade partners, survey experiment, protectionism, policy preference formation, policy salience

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