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Bureaucracies and the political economy of protection : reflections of a continental European

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Patrick Messerlin
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Abstract

A project to establish the shares of industrial country markets held by developing countries, changes in such shares in the 1970s, and reasons for variations among industry groups and countries aims to assist developing and industrial countries improve their policies through a better understanding of trade patterns and protectionist measures. This paper looks at the role of the bureaus (bureaucrats) in the supply of protection in France. Three factors appear to influence the bureaus' observed tendency toward protection: (i) its position as a "partial dictator" with respect to the industry it supervises; (ii) inability of a bureau to capture the profits that result from protection; and (iii) costs to a bureau of information about the impact of protection. The study suggests several approaches to negating the protectionist tendency of bureaus and states that more attention to and study of the relations between trade policy and administrative structure are necessary.
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Dates and versions

hal-03621866 , version 1 (28-03-2022)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03621866 , version 1
  • SCIENCESPO : 2441/7601

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Patrick Messerlin. Bureaucracies and the political economy of protection : reflections of a continental European. 2022. ⟨hal-03621866⟩
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