Skip to main content
×
×
Home

The Impact of In-group Favoritism on Trade Preferences

  • Diana C. Mutz and Eunji Kim
Abstract
Abstract

Using a population-based survey experiment, this study evaluates the role of in-group favoritism in influencing American attitudes toward international trade. By systematically altering which countries gain or lose from a given trade policy (Americans and/or people in trading partner countries), we vary the role that in-group favoritism should play in influencing preferences.

Our results provide evidence of two distinct forms of in-group favoritism. The first, and least surprising, is that Americans value the well-being of other Americans more than that of people outside their own country. Rather than maximize total gains, Americans choose policies that maximize in-group well-being. This tendency is exacerbated by a sense of national superiority; Americans favor their national in-group to a greater extent if they perceive Americans to be more deserving.

Second, high levels of perceived intergroup competition lead some Americans to prefer trade policies that benefit the in-group and hurt the out-group over policies that help both their own country and the trading partner country. For a policy to elicit support, it is important not only that the US benefits, but also that the trading partner country loses so that the US achieves a greater relative advantage. We discuss the implications of these findings for understanding bipartisan public opposition to trade.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Aaroe Lene, and Petersen Michael Bang. 2014. Crowding Out Culture: Scandinavians and Americans Agree on Social Welfare in the Face of Deservingness Cues. The Journal of Politics 76 (3):684–97.
Bartlett Donald L., and Steele James B.. 2012. The Betrayal of the American Dream. New York: Public Affairs.
Brown Rupert. 2000. Social Identity Theory: Past Achievements, Current Problems and Future Challenges. European Journal of Social Psychology 30 (6): 775–78.
Fordham Benjamin O., and Kleinberg Katja B.. 2012. How Can Economic Interests Influence Support for Free Trade? International Organization 66 (2):311–28.
Freeland Chrystia. 2011. The Rise of the New Global Elite. The Atlantic, January/February, 4455.
Gilens Martin. 1999. Why Americans Hate Welfare: Race, Media, and the Politics of Antipoverty Policy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Hayes Andrew F., and Matthes Jörg. 2009. Computational Procedures for Probing Interactions in OLS and Logistic Regression: SPSS and SAS Implementations. Behavior Research Methods 41 (3):924–36.
Hiscox Michael J. 2006. Through a Glass and Darkly: Attitudes Toward International Trade and the Curious Effect of Issue Framing. International Organization 60 (3):755–80.
Hoffman Michael E.S. 2004. Politico-Economic Determinants of American Trade Policy Attitudes. Unpublished manuscript, Norte Dame, South Bend, IN
Hogg Michael A., and Abrams Dominic. 1990. Social Motivation, Self-Esteem and Social Identity. In Social Identity Theory: Constructive and Critical Advances, edited by Abrams Dominic and Hogg Michael A., 2847. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Hogg Michael A., Fielding Karen S., and Darley John. 2005. Fringe Dwellers: Processes of Deviance and Marginalization in Groups. The Social Psychology of Inclusion and Exclusion. In Social Psychology of Inclusion and Exclusion edited by Abrams Dominic, Hogg Michael A., and Marques José M., 191210. New York: Psychology Press.
Huddy Leonie. 2001. From Social to Political Identity: A Critical Examination of Social Identity Theory. Political Psychology 22 (1):127–56.
Huddy Leonie, and Khatib Nadia. 2007. American Patriotism, National Identity, and Political Involvement. American Journal of Political Science 51 (1):6477.
Ip Greg. 2016. The Rise of Zero-Sum Economics. Wall Street Journal, 20 July. Available at <http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-rise-of-zero-sum-economics-1469033016>. Accessed 6 September 2016.
Irwin Douglas A. 1996. Against the Tide: An Intellectual History of Free Trade. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Johnston Christopher D. 2013. Dispositional Sources of Economic Protectionism. Public Opinion Quarterly 77 (2):574–85.
Jost John T., Federico Christopher M., and Napier Jamie L.. 2009. Political Ideology: Its Structure, Functions, and Elective Affinities. Annual Review of Psychology 60:307–37.
Kinder Donald R., and Kam Cindy D. 2010. Us Against Them: Ethnocentric Foundations for American Opinion. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Kinder Donald R., and Kiewiet D. Roderick. 1981. Sociotropic Politics: The American Case. British Journal of Political Science 11 (2):129–61.
Lan Xiaohuan, and Li Ben. 2011. Nationalism and International Trade: Theory and Evidence. Working Paper 36412. Munich: Munich Personal RePEc Archive. Available at <http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/36412/>. Accessed 6 September 2016.
Long J. Scott, and Freese Jeremy. 2014. Regression Models for Categorical Dependent Variables Using Stata, 3rd ed. College Station, TX: Stata Press.
Mansfield Edward D., and Mutz Diana C.. 2009. Support for Free Trade: Self-Interest, Sociotropic Politics, and Out-Group Anxiety. International Organization 63 (3):425–57.
Mansfield Edward D., Mutz Diana C., and Silver Laura 2015. Men, Women, Trade, and Free Markets. International Studies Quarterly 59 (2):303–15.
Margalit Yotam. 2012. Lost in Globalization: International Economic Integration and the Sources of Popular Discontent. International Studies Quarterly 56 (3):484500.
Mayda Anna Maria, and Rodrik Dani. 2005. Why Are Some People (and Countries) More Protectionist than Others? European Economic Review 49 (6):1393–430.
Merolla Jennifer, Stephenson Laura B., Wilson Carole J., and Zechmeister Elizabeth J.. 2005. Globalization, Globalización, Globalisation: Public Opinion and NAFTA. Law and Business Review of the Americas. 11 (3–4):573–96.
Miller David. 2005. Reasonable Partiality Towards Compatriots. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (1–2):6381.
Mutz Diana C. 2014. Is Trade Perceived to Be Zero Sum? American Perceptions of the Impact of Trade on US and Trading Partner Countries. Paper presented to the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC.
O'Rourke Kevin H., and Sinnott Richard. 2001. The Determinants of Individual Trade Policy Preferences: International Survey Evidence. In Brookings Trade Forum, edited by Collins Susan M. and Rodrik Dani, 157206. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.
Pinto Pablo M., and Le Foulon Carmen M.. 2007. The Individual Sources of Economic Nationalism: Evidence from Survey Data. Unpublished manuscript, University of Houston, Houston, TX.
Plutarch Lucius M. 1957. Moralia, Vol. 12. Translated by Cherniss Harold. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Pratto Felicia, Çidam Atilla, Stewart Andrew L., Zeineddine Fouad Bou, et al. 2013. Social Dominance in Context and in Individuals: Contextual Moderation of Robust Effects of Social Dominance Orientation in Fifteen Languages and Twenty Countries. Social Psychological and Personality Science 4 (5):587–99.
Pratto Felicia, Sidanius James, Stallworth Lisa M., and Malle Bertram F.. 1994. Social Dominance Orientation: A Personality Variable Predicting Social and Political Attitudes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 67 (4):741–63.
Rankin David M. 2001. Identities, Interests, and Imports. Political Behavior 23 (4):351–76.
Reich Robert B. 1990. Do We Want US to Be Rich or Japan Poor? Wall Street Journal, 18 June, A10.
Rousseau David L. 2002. Motivations for Choice: The Salience of Relative Gains in International Politics. The Journal of Conflict Resolution 46 (3):394426.
Rueda David, and Stegmueller Daniel. 2017. Who Wants What? Redistribution Preferences in Comparative Perspective. Unpublished manuscript.
Sabet Shahrzad. 2013. What's in a Name? Isolating the Effect of Prejudice on Individual Trade Preferences. Paper presented at the American Political Science Association 2013 Annual Meeting. Available at SSRN <https://ssrn.com/abstract=2301118>.
Sidanius Jim, Haley Hillary, Molina Ludwin, and Pratto Felicia. 2007. Vladimir's Choice and the Distribution of Social Resources: A Group Dominance Perspective. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations 10 (2):257–65.
Sidanius Jim, and Pratto Felicia. 1999. Social Dominance: An Intergroup Theory of Social Hierarchy and Oppression. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Slaughter Matthew J. 1999. Globalisation and Wages: A Tale of Two Perspectives. The World Economy 22 (5):609–29.
Slaughter Matthew J. 2001. International Trade and Labor–Demand Elasticities. Journal of International Economics 54 (1):2756.
Stein Arthur A. 1990. Why Nations Cooperate: Circumstance and Choice in International Relations. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Tajfel Henry, and Turner John C.. 1986. The Social Identity Theory of Intergroup Behavior. In Psychology of Intergroup Relations, edited by Worchel Stephen and Austin William G., 724. Chicago: Nelson-Hall.
Theiss-Morse Elizabeth. 2009. Who Counts as an American? The Boundaries of National Identity. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Trump Donald. 2016. Declaring America's Economic Independence. Speech, Alumisource, Monessen, PA, 28 June. Available at <http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/full-transcript-trump-job-plan-speech-224891>. Accessed 6 September 2016.
Turner John C. 1975. Social Comparison and Social Identity: Some Prospects for Intergroup Behavior. European Journal of Social Psychology 5 (1):134
Turner John. C., Hogg Michael A., Oakes Penelope J., Reicher Stephen D., and Wetherell Margaret S.. 1987. Rediscovering the Social Group: A Self-Categorization Theory. New York: Basil Blackwell.
Tuschman Avi. 2013. Our Political Nature: The Evolutionary Origins of What Divides Us. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Organization
  • ISSN: 0020-8183
  • EISSN: 1531-5088
  • URL: /core/journals/international-organization
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary material

Mutz and Kim supplementary material
Supplementary data

 Unknown (681 KB)
681 KB

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 13
Total number of PDF views: 159 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 512 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 1st November 2017 - 21st February 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.