Stephanie J. Rickard

London School of Economics


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Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

International Negotiations in the Shadow of National Elections (2014) International Organization 68 (3): 701-720, with Teri Caraway [data, do file]
Domestic politics influence the terms and conditions of International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans. IMF loan conditions are more lenient when borrowing governments face democratic elections within the next six months. The implication is that the IMF adapts its lending decisions to countries' individual circumstances by waiving or modifying loan conditions when domestic political constraints are intense.

Compensating the Losers: Evidence of Policy Responses to Globalization from Congressional Roll Call Votes (2015) International Interactions 41 (1): 46-60 [data]

Some people gain from international trade but others lose. To pacify these rival interests, some legislators vote to both liberalize trade and assist citizens made worse off by freer trade. An analysis of US Congressional roll call votes from 1980–2004 reveals that pro-trade legislators who represent relatively more exporters are more likely to vote for increased spending on Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a program that provides financial assistance to workers who lose their jobs or experience a reduction in wages due to increased foreign trade. Even Republicans, who often oppose spending increases, are willing to support TAA funding when a substantial portion of their constituents gain from trade. 

Buying National: Democracy and Public Procurement (2014) International Interactions 40 (5): 657-82, with Daniel Kono
Does democracy promote free trade? In an analysis of 138 countries from 1990 to 2008, we find that democratic countries have lower tariffs than non-democracies, on average, but higher levels of discrimination in public procurement. In other words, democratically-elected governments are more likely to discriminate against foreign firms when awarding lucrative government contracts.

Think Globally, Buy Locally: International Agreements and Government Procurement (2014) Review of International Organizations 9 (3): 333-352, with Daniel Kono
A growing number of international agreements regulate governments' purchases of goods and services. In theory, such rules make "buy national" programs illegal. Yet, governments often fail to change their purchasing behavior after signing international procurement agreements. Governments continue to discriminate against foreign firms when awarding lucrative government contracts, even as signatories to the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) or as members of the European Union (EU) with its detailed procurement rules.

Welfare versus Subsidies: Governmental Spending Decisions in an Era of Globalization (2012) The Journal of Politics 74 (4): 1171–1183 [data, do file]
International trade affects countries’ budgets, particularly in developing countries where trade taxes make up a large portion of government revenue. In a study of 44 developing countries, I find that increased trade prompts governments to cut social welfare spending. However, governments spend more on industrial subsidies following a rise in imports.

Electoral Systems, Voters' Interests and Geographic Dispersion (2012) British Journal of Political Science 42 (4): 855-877 [data, do file]
Democratic institutions are ostensibly designed to serve the majority. Yet in some democracies, politicians routinely cater to the interests of a few. Why are leaders more responsive to parochial interests in some democracies than in others? Political institutions and economic geography provide the answer. Politicians competing in plurality electoral systems privilege special interests when they are geographically concentrated. When special interests are geographically diffuse, politicians in proportional systems do more to cater to their demands.

A Non-Tariff Protectionist Bias in Majoritarian Politics: Government Subsidies and Electoral Institutions (2012) International Studies Quarterly 56 (4): 777-785  
The 2008 global economic crisis prompted fears that governments would turn to trade protection. While these fears appear to have been largely unwarranted, modest moves toward protection did occur, notably in the form of subsidies. Which governments use subsidies to protect domestic producers and why? In a study of 68 countries, I find that spending on subsidies is higher in majoritarian democracies than in democracies with proportional electoral rules, holding all else equal.

International Negotiations and Domestic Politics: The Case of IMF Labor Market Conditionality (2012) International Organization 66 (1): 27-61,with Teri Caraway and Mark Anner [data, press release]
How much influence do citizens have in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund? Using new data from IMF loan documents, we find that citizens can impact IMF loan agreements. Democratic governments facing powerful labor at home receive less stringent labor-related loan conditions. This finding suggests that the IMF is responsive to domestic politics in borrowing countries.

Democratic Differences: Electoral Institutions and Compliance with GATT/WTO Agreements (2010) European Journal of International Relations 16 (4): 711-729 [complaints, data, do file]

Why do some democracies comply with international rules more often than others? Electoral politics explains this variation. Among democratic members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), governments elected via majoritarian electoral rules and/or single-member districts are more likely to violate WTO agreements than those elected via proportional electoral rules and/or multi-member districts.

International Trade and Domestic Legal Systems: Examining the Impact of Islamic Law
(2010) International Interactions 37 (4): 335-362, with Emilia Justyna Powell

What factors explain international trade flows? Recent theories point to the importance of countries’ legal traditions. In this article, we offer the first test of the effect of Islamic law on countries’ trade relations. We find that, on average, levels of bilateral trade are lowest among Islamic law states, holding all else constant. However, the importance of countries’ legal systems appears to be decreasing over time. We speculate that the decreased importance of legal systems may be due to the growing role of international arbitration bodies.

Strategic Targeting: The Effect of Institutions and Interests on Distributive Transfers (2009) Comparative Political Studies 42 (5): 670-695
In democracies, politicians compete to win votes in free and fair elections. Elected representatives should therefore be responsive to citizens’ demands. Yet, leaders in some democracies are more reactive to pressures for trade protection than in others. The varied responsiveness of elected officials results from the dissimilar rules that govern democratic elections around the world. In this study, I find that politicians elected via proportional electoral systems are more responsive to increased demand for trade protection.

Other Publications 
Electoral Systems and Policy Outcomes (2017) Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, Oxford University Press
Electoral Systems and Trade (2015) In The Oxford Handbook of the Political Economy of International Trade, edited by Lisa L. Martin, Oxford University Press

PTAs and Public Procurement (2015) In Trade Cooperation: The Purpose, Design and Effects of Preferential Trade Agreements, edited by Andreas Dur and Manfred Elsig, Cambridge University Press

The Costs of Openness: Examining the Missing Link between Globalization and Spending (2006) IIIS Discussion Paper No. 185
PhD Dissertation 
Choosing Conflict: Explaining the Form of Redistributive Policies

Committee: Stephan Haggard, J. Lawrence Broz, David Lake, Gordon Hanson and Neal Beck