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Title: Essays on the Domestic Politics of Globalization
Authors: Schonfeld, Bryan
Advisors: Milner, Helen V.
Contributors: Politics Department
Subjects: International relations
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: In this three-paper dissertation, I examine the domestic politics of globalization from several perspectives. In the first paper of my dissertation, I examine the relationship between political and economic geography in the context of trade politics. I demonstrate that in advanced plurality countries like the United States and United Kingdom, college-educated voters support free trade, and high-density constituencies are predominantly represented by Left incumbents. As college-educated workers migrate to high-density constituencies in pursuit of higher wages, Left incumbents increasingly embrace free trade, while Right incumbents take more protectionist positions. In paper 2, my co-author and I examine whether voters are primarily motivated by their policy preferences or by their partisan identities. Exploiting a unique natural experiment, namely the British Conservative Party's sudden change in Brexit policy following the surprising result of the 2016 referendum on EU membership, we find that voters primarily care about policy: Europhilic Conservatives disaffiliated from the party, while Euroskeptics became more likely to identify with the Conservatives. These findings suggest that voters are sufficiently policy-motivated to change parties if they disagree with their party on important issues. In paper 3, I argue that much of the existing political science literature on trade policy neglects the dual role of tariffs as both import barriers and as taxes that require relatively little government knowledge of citizens' economic activities ("legibility"). In this paper, I argue that states will not reduce tariffs when legibility is low because doing so would jeopardize much needed tax revenue. I first demonstrate that low legibility states are less likely to liberalize trade. I then demonstrate evidence of this trade-off between trade liberalization and tax revenue by revisiting two empirical findings from the trade literature--namely that democratic states are more likely to pursue trade openness, and that left-wing governments in labor-abundant countries are more likely to reduce tariffs. I find that these relationships hold only in states with sufficient legibility--consistent with the notion that legibility mitigates the trade-off between reducing tariffs and maintaining high levels of government spending.
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Politics

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