Peer-Reviewed Research

Abstract: In theory, a country will impose tariff barriers to protect the domestic industries and firms that are less competitive relative to foreign imports. This study investigates whether Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) is related to tariff protection in the three large North American economies. I find little evidence for the hypothesis that higher RCA values always correspond to lower tariff levels. The effects of RCA on tariffs are heterogeneous across sectors; consumer goods are likelier to see higher tariffs as RCA increases than agricultural or other goods. These results challenge the theory that export-competitive goods will necessarily receive less tariff protection.

Replication Data

Working Papers

Abstract: Does geographic variation in local governance drive partisan sorting in the United States? Prior research shows that voters do not tend to sort into communities based on partisan concerns alone; furthermore, Democrats and Republicans are often more attitudinally aligned on issues of local taxation than they are vis-\`a-vis federal and state taxes. Although these facts alone may imply that the U.S.'s partisan polarization is less severe at the local level, I argue that partisan sorting does occur along the borders of local political jurisdictions. Individuals with a low willingness to pay local taxes (who are typically Republican-leaning) can live just outside city limits, avoiding those taxes and potentially consuming spillovers in public goods. Using geospatial variation in electoral outcomes around city limits, I show that support for Democrats candidates in recent presidential elections was roughly 3 percentage points lower in areas just outside municipal boundaries. This effect holds in small cities as well as larger metropolitan areas and is particularly strong in places with higher influxes of daily commuters. This study is the first to use the universe of U.S. city limits to uncover sharp discontinuities in political outcomes, shedding light on the relationship between local political institutions, partisan geography, and the urban-rural divide in general.