January 25: Neha Upadhayay (Université Paris Est)

January 25, 2021

Neha Bhardwaj Upadhayay (Université Paris Est), “Are only men fighting trade wars? The role of national leadership in contingent protection activity”


This paper examines the under-scrutinized issue of the role of national leadership in trade policy of a country. In this context, a higher level of belligerence can be encountered by countries led by women leaders due to a world-view based on prejudice (against women). In this chapter, this belligerence is modeled as actions like dumping or subsidies by exporting nations that increase the probability of countermeasures from importing nations. Our argument is, due to existing prejudices, threats from countries led by men (importers) could be considered more credible and hence the trade conflict raising action (from the exporter) is curtailed. On the other hand, threats from countries led by women are considered non-credible and hence the country ends up taking the countermeasure against a trading partner (to curtail or stop completely the conflict rising action like dumping or subsidies to exports). We find that the presence of a woman chief
executive is positively correlated with the propensity to instigate trade protection measures. We see the moderating effect of political institutions with higher women participation in parliament leading to a plummeting of protection-related petitioning at international forums.