Essays on the Political Economy of Trade Policy and Economic Development

Mehmet Ali Ulubasoglu, Florida International University


This dissertation studies the political economy of trade policy in a developing country, namely Turkey, under different economic and political regimes. The research analyzes the effects of these different regimes on the import structure, the trade policy and the industrialization process in Turkey and derives implications for aggregate welfare. In the second chapter, the effects of trade liberalization policies on import demand are examined. Using disaggregated industry-level data, import demand elasticities for various sectors have been computed, analyzed under different economic regimes, and compared with those of developed countries. The results are statistically significant and reliable, and conform to the predictions of economic theory. Estimation of these elasticities is also a necessary ingredient for the third chapter of the dissertation. The third chapter examines the predictions of the state-of-the-art “Protection For Sale” model of Grossman and Helpman (1994). Employing advanced econometric methods and a unique data set, strong support is found for the fundamental predictions of the model in the context of Turkey. Specifically, the government is found to attach a much higher weight to social welfare than to political contributions. This weight is higher under the democratic regime than under the dictatorship, a result potentially of interest to all researchers in the area of political economy. The fourth chapter looks at the effects of industry concentration and import price shocks on protection, promotion and the choice of policy instruments in Turkey. In this context, it examines and finds support for the predictions of some well-known models in the literature.

Subject Area

Economics|International law

Recommended Citation

Ulubasoglu, Mehmet Ali, "Essays on the Political Economy of Trade Policy and Economic Development" (2001). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3013188.