Free-riding on federalism: Trade protection and the Canadian dairy industry

Kathy Baylis, Hartley Furtan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the link between federalism, rent-seeking and free-riding behaviour. Using data from the Canadian dairy industry, we test four hypotheses of the determinants of rent-seeking expenditure and the role of free-riding. First, we find that provinces do not cooperate with each other when lobbying the federal government for trade protection. Second, some provinces are found to free ride on the rent-seeking expenditure of the larger (more influential) provinces. Third, the cost of rent-seeking increases when the federal government is forced to make a decision regarding the future of the protectionist policies. Fourth, institutional changes under the 1994 GATT raised the rent-seeking cost of maintaining protectionist policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-162
Number of pages18
JournalCanadian Public Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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