Protection and Revenue: the Motivations for Antebellum Tariff Legislation

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This paper identifies the relative importance of demands for government revenue and industry protection in shaping tariff legislation during the antebellum period. To do this, a two-limit probit model is estimated for five different products to determine the effectiveness of pressure groups in influencing government decisions to change tariff rates. I find that protection demands were the key factor influencing the structure of tariff legislationwith no influence from revenue demands. In addition, southern industries were more effective than northern industries at gaining protection but faced a higher probability of reductions in protection when their prices were rising.

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