Journal article

Social standards in trade agreements and free trade preferences: An empirical investigation

Ida Bastiaens, Evgeny Postnikov

The Review of International Organizations | Springer Science and Business Media LLC | Published : 2020


Free trade generates macroeconomic gains but also creates winners and losers. Historically, to reconcile this tension, governments compensated globalization losers with social spending in exchange for support for free trade, known as the embedded liberalism compromise. In the neoliberal era, what other policies can governments pursue to strengthen support for globalization? We assess the effect of social standards in preferential trade agreements (PTAs) on individual preferences for free trade. We analyze data from an original survey experiment and find that respondents in advanced industrialized countries have greater support for free trade when PTAs include social standards. Differences do..

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