A standard finding in the political economy of trade policy literature is that we should expect export-oriented industries to attract more assistance than import-competing industries. In reality, however, trade policy is heavily biased toward supporting import industries. This paper shows within a standard protection for sale framework, how the costliness of raising revenue via taxation makes trade subsidies less desirable and trade taxes more desirable. The model is then estimated and its predictions tested using U.S. tariff data. An empirical estimate of the costliness of revenue-raising is also obtained.


Oct. 2006 revision of EWP-28, originally posted June 2005.