Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 65
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Cook, Thomas R. and Liu, Amy H. 2016. Using Linguistic Networks to Explain Strength of Intellectual Property Rights. World Development,

    Guisinger, Alexandra 2016. Information, Gender, and Differences in Individual Preferences for Trade. Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, p. 1.

    Kuhn, Theresa van Elsas, Erika Hakhverdian, Armen and van der Brug, Wouter 2016. An ever wider gap in an ever closer union: Rising inequalities and euroscepticism in 12 West European democracies, 1975–2009. Socio-Economic Review, Vol. 14, Issue. 1, p. 27.

    Schmidtke, Henning 2016. The differentiated politicisation of European tax governance. West European Politics, Vol. 39, Issue. 1, p. 64.

    Tomiura, Eiichi Ito, Banri Mukunoki, Hiroshi and Wakasugi, Ryuhei 2016. Individual Characteristics, Behavioral Biases, and Trade Policy Preferences: Evidence from a Survey in Japan. Review of International Economics,

    Aklin, Michaël Arias, Eric Deniz, Emine and Peter Rosendorff, B. 2015. Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    Balestrini, Pierre P. 2015. Public Opinion Regarding Globalisation: The Kernels of a ‘European Spring’ of Public Discontent?. Globalizations, Vol. 12, Issue. 2, p. 261.

    Bearce, David H. and Tuxhorn, Kim-Lee 2015. When Are Monetary Policy Preferences Egocentric? Evidence from American Surveys and an Experiment. American Journal of Political Science, p. n/a.

    Bernauer, Thomas 2015. Free Tradeand/orEnvironmental Protection?. Global Environmental Politics, Vol. 15, Issue. 4, p. 105.

    Chung, Alec 2015. Effects of Trade Relations on South Korean Views of China. Asian Politics & Policy, Vol. 7, Issue. 4, p. 597.

    Hakhverdian, Armen 2015. Does it Matter that Most Representatives are Higher Educated?. Swiss Political Science Review, Vol. 21, Issue. 2, p. 237.

    Mansfield, Edward D. Mutz, Diana C. and Silver, Laura R. 2015. Men, Women, Trade, and Free Markets. International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 59, Issue. 2, p. 303.

    Pervez, Fouad 2015. Waiting for election season. The Review of International Organizations, Vol. 10, Issue. 2, p. 265.

    Prasad, Ambika and Shivarajan, Sridevi 2015. Understanding the role of technology in reducing corruption: a transaction cost approach. Journal of Public Affairs, Vol. 15, Issue. 1, p. 22.

    Rickard, Stephanie J. 2015. Compensating the Losers: An Examination of Congressional Votes on Trade Adjustment Assistance. International Interactions, Vol. 41, Issue. 1, p. 46.

    Schlipphak, Bernd 2015. Measuring attitudes toward regional organizations outside Europe. The Review of International Organizations, Vol. 10, Issue. 3, p. 351.

    Taylor, Timothy W. 2015. The Electoral Salience of Trade Policy: Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Welfare and Complexity. International Interactions, Vol. 41, Issue. 1, p. 84.

    van der Waal, Jeroen and de Koster, Willem 2015. Why do the less educated oppose trade openness? A test of three explanations in the Netherlands. European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, Vol. 2, Issue. 3-4, p. 313.

    Aklin, Michaël Bayer, Patrick Harish, S. P. and Urpelainen, Johannes 2014. Information and energy policy preferences: a survey experiment on public opinion about electricity pricing reform in rural India. Economics of Governance, Vol. 15, Issue. 4, p. 305.

    Aydin, Umut 2014. Who is Afraid of Globalization? Turkish Attitudes toward Trade and Globalization. Turkish Studies, Vol. 15, Issue. 2, p. 322.


Learning to Love Globalization: Education and Individual Attitudes Toward International Trade

  • Jens Hainmueller (a1) and Michael J. Hiscox (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 April 2006

Recent studies of public attitudes toward trade have converged on one central finding: support for trade restrictions is highest among respondents with the lowest levels of education. This has been interpreted as strong support for the Stolper-Samuelson theorem, the classic economic treatment of the income effects of trade that predicts that trade openness benefits those owning factors of production with which their economy is relatively well endowed (those with skills in the advanced economies) while hurting others (low-skilled workers). We reexamine the available survey data, showing that the impact of education on attitudes toward trade is almost identical among respondents in the active labor force and those who are not (even those who are retired). We also find that, while individuals with college-level educations are far more likely to favor trade openness than others, other types of education have no significant effects on attitudes, and some actually reduce the support for trade, even though they clearly contribute to skill acquisition. Combined, these results strongly suggest that the effects of education on individual trade preferences are not primarily a product of distributional concerns linked to job skills. We suggest that exposure to economic ideas and information among college-educated individuals plays a key role in shaping attitudes toward trade and globalization. This is not to say that distributional issues are not important in shaping attitudes toward trade—just that they are not clearly manifest in the simple, broad association between education levels and support for free trade.The authors would like to thank James Alt, Jeffry Frieden, Robert Lawrence, Dani Rodrik, Ron Rogowski, Ken Scheve, Andy Baker, Peter Gourevitch, and Beth Simmons for helpful comments on earlier drafts.

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? *