Public Opinion and Trade

NAFTA's in the news again, or whatever it's going to be renamed to. Brought me back to my old grad school paper on trust in institutions and how they can influence public opinion on economic policies like trade. The hypothesis goes something like: if citizens can't trust political institutions to deliver equalizing outcomes, they would be less likely to support trade liberalization.

Recent attitudes to NAFTA seem to point in this direction, where American faith in free trade (from the very country that brought you the modern global trade regime) has declined in the face of declining trust in political and market institutions.

Trust, Trade, and Institutions: Social Capital and Trade Liberalization Attitudes in Japan

A research paper I wrote and presented for a International Political Economy Case Study class supervised by Professor Nobuhiro Hiwatari in 2015.

Download the paper here.