Open Economies Review

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 457–478 | Cite as

Special Interest Groups and Trade Policy in the EU

Research article


The aim of this work is to employ theoretical and empirical analysis on the role of special interest groups in the determination of the EU trade policy. We build a two-stage game model of trade policy formation in a multisector-multicountry framework. We obtain the level of protection as a function of industry characteristics, in addition to political and economic factors at member state and European levels. The model is then tested by 2SLS estimation using data for 15 countries and 41 sectors. The econometric output suggests empirical support to model’s predictions as it highlights an important role for both national and European groups in trade policy making.


Lobbying Policy making Trade policy European Union 

JEL Classification

D71 D78 F13 F15 



This work is part of the Research Program of National Scientific Relevance (PRIN) on “The new multilateral trade negotiations within the World Trade Organization (Doha Round): liberalisation prospects and the impact of the Italian economy”. Financial support by the Italian Ministry of Universities and Scientific Research is gratefully acknowledged. We would like to thank Carl-Johan Belfrage and Betina V. Dimaranan for useful suggestions. Usual disclaimers apply.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Economics and CIDEISapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

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