[Abstract] Nationalism, Threat, and Support for Trade

Scholarship on the determinants of trade preferences has focused heavily on personal and sociotropic economic well-being. However, debates over the relevance of psychological factors to individual trade preferences are beginning to emerge, with a particular focus on nationalism. Building on the theory that nations function as ingroups, to which citizens have varying degrees of attachment, we argue that strong national ingroup identifiers will at times prioritize national interests over their own. Specifically, they will avoid trade with countries that pose a threat to the nation, even if said trade would be financially beneficial. Using an original survey experiment with a nationally representative sample from Taiwan, we find that individuals take the economic and psychological benefits to themselves and their nation into account when forming attitudes towards trade policies. Consequently, the effects of national pride and economic self-interest on support for particular trade agreements are contingent on the trade partner.

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