DP5544 Scared by Foreigners and their Products? Survey Evidence from France

Author(s): Olivier Cadot, Pierre-Yves Geoffard, Akiko Suwa Eisenmann, Thierry Verdier
Publication Date: March 2006
Keyword(s): France, migration, political economy, protectionism, trade
JEL(s): F1, F22
Programme Areas: International Trade and Regional Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=5544

The paper studies attitudes toward immigration and trade using an opinion survey of two thousand French individuals. We find that, beyond usual Stolper-Samuelson effects (skilled individuals are more pro-free trade than others, as in other countries) attitudes toward trade and immigration are correlated and both are ideologically loaded. Right-wing affiliation is robustly associated with protectionism. Moreover, right-wing protectionism concerns not just agriculture but appears to be a broader attitude. It may help explain the predominantly anti-trade rhetoric of France's right-wing governments, although outsiders would expect them to pursue more pro-market and pro-free trade policies than left-wing ones.