Campaign Contributions for Free Trade: Salient and Non-salient Agendas
潘振宇,武汉大学经济与管理学院财政与税收系助理教授，波士顿学院经济学博士，主要研究领域为公共经济学 、政治经济学 、区域经济学。
Although protectionism became a salient issue in the 2016 presi-dential election campaign, both Republican and Democratic adminis-trations have been silently promoting free trade for decades. We set up a two-party electoral competition model in a two-dimensional policy space with campaign contributions by a group (exporting/multinationalrms) that is interested in promoting free trade, for which voters do not have positive sentiment. Assuming that voters are impressionable to campaign spending for/against candidates, we analyze the optimal contract between the interest group and the candidates on policy issues and campaign contributions. If the candidates' winning chances are similar, and if voters' negative semtiment to free trade is not too strong, the interest group contributes to both candidates to make free trade a nonsalient issue, and the candidates compete over the other(ideological) dimension only.