Domestic institutional choices: A comparative analysis of trade liberalization in OECD countries

Date of Completion

January 2005


Political Science, General




This dissertation investigates domestic institutional factors and their impact on trade policy making in OECD countries. This analysis has focused on the linkages between the trade policy contents and the domestic institutional variables: electoral systems, government fragmentation, cabinet durability and the time horizons of top executives remaining in office. The empirical finding suggests that the existence of PR system was not statistically associated with the trade policy making in three decades that were examined, however variations of seats allocated by the PR system could be a potentially important variable for shaping trade policy making. When political parties disagreed over the direction of trade policy, structures of partisan composition of cabinet could influence trade policy-making in some countries. The cabinet durability variable does not seem to play an important role in determining trade policy directions. The empirical findings also revealed that the duration of top executives was very important in shaping trade policy directions as well as the degree to which it was liberalized or protected in some OECD countries. ^