May 2016

Does Trade Liberalization with China Influence U.S. Elections?

Yi Che, Yi Lu, Justin R. Pierce, Peter K. Schott, and Zhigang Tao


This paper examines the impact of trade liberalization on U.S. Congressional elections. We find that U.S. counties subject to greater competition from China via a change in U.S. trade policy exhibit relative increases in turnout, the share of votes cast for Democrats and the probability that the county is represented by a Democrat. We find that these changes are consistent with Democrats in office being more likely than Republicans to support legislation limiting import competition or favoring economic assistance.

Accessible materials (.zip)

Keywords: China, Elections, Import Competition, Normal Trade Relations, Voting, World Trade Organization


PDF: Full Paper

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Last Update: June 19, 2020