Perceived inequality and support for trade liberalization in Latin America

Christina Fattore (Department of Political Science, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA)
Brian Fitzpatrick (Department of Political Science, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA)

Journal of International Trade Law and Policy

ISSN: 1477-0024

Publication date: 20 June 2016

Abstract

Purpose

Previous studies have focused on individual preferences regarding trade liberalization without considering an individual’s perceptions of income inequality. This study aims to utilize the 2007 Latinobarametro to test a hypothesis regarding the relationship between an individual’s perceived income inequality and their support for trade liberalization in their country. The authors focus primarily on Latin America, as it is a region that has a long, entrenched tradition of income inequality with far reaching political and economic consequences. It is also a region that is relatively new to trade liberalization, as it only began to open up in the 1980s, after a decade-long commitment to import substitution industrialization.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors utilize a logit model to analyze the 2007 Latinobarametro data to test the hypothesis.

Findings

The authors find that individuals who perceive income inequality to be fair in their country are more likely to support trade liberalization, whereas those who perceive income inequality to be unfair are less likely to support liberalization.

Originality/value

This study allows for a more complete portrait of what influences individual preferences toward trade policy and advocates for policy elites to be more responsive to their citizens’ concerns about trade liberalization.

Keywords

Citation

Fattore, C. and Fitzpatrick, B. (2016), "Perceived inequality and support for trade liberalization in Latin America", Journal of International Trade Law and Policy, Vol. 15 No. 2/3, pp. 102-114. https://doi.org/10.1108/JITLP-06-2016-0014

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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