Zentrum für Sozialpolitik
Raum: 3380
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
16:15 - 17:45
Jour Fixe
SoSe 2013

On average, tariffs are lower in countries with proportional electoral systems than in countries with majoritarian electoral systems. Using data on trade, institutions, and social policies in the rich democracies from the inter-war period to the 1990s, I argue that this well-known empirical regularity is best explained by the fact that proportional electoral systems produce more generous social policies, compensating losers from trade and lessening opposition to trade liberalization; the alternative explanation that majoritarian systems are associated with higher tariffs since legislators elected in single-member districts are more sensitive to protectionist pressures is shown to be of secondary importance.