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The Payoff to America from Globalisation

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  • Scott C. Bradford
  • Paul L. E. Grieco
  • Gary Clyde Hufbauer

Abstract

This article summarizes the economic payoff to the United States from its postwar trade opening and estimates the potential future gains from more opening going forward. To quantify these gains, we survey different methodologies and estimates. We find that trade opening since World War II has added between $800 billion to $1.4 trillion to the US economy, or about $7,000 to $13,000 per household. More speculative estimates of the potential additional gains from removing the rest of US trade barriers range from $400 billion to $1.3 trillion, or about $4,000 to $12,000 per household. Since trade opening permanently raises national income, these gains are enjoyed annually. Trade opening inevitably entails adjustment costs. We estimate that the lifetime cost of all worker dislocations that have been triggered by expanded trade in the United States could be as high as $54 billion, although probably less. The permanent gains from past and potential liberalization easily swamp the modest sums necessary to alleviate the temporary pains of adjustment. In the future as in the past, free trade can significantly raise income – and quality of life – in America.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott C. Bradford & Paul L. E. Grieco & Gary Clyde Hufbauer, 2006. "The Payoff to America from Globalisation," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(7), pages 893-916, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:29:y:2006:i:7:p:893-916
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9701.2006.00828.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9701.2006.00828.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Falling Trade Costs, Heterogeneous Firms, and Industry Dynamics," Working Paper Series WP03-4, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    2. Jeffrey J. Schott (ed.), 2004. "Free Trade Agreements: US Strategies and Priorities," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 375.
    3. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
    4. Juan Carlos Hallak & James Levinsohn, 2004. "Fooling Ourselves: Evaluating the Globalization and Growth Debate," Working Papers 509, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    5. Andrew Berg & Anne O. Krueger, 2003. "Trade, Growth, and Poverty; A Selective Survey," IMF Working Papers 03/30, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Lori G. Kletzer, 2001. "Job Loss from Imports: Measuring the Costs," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 110.
    7. Scott Bradford & Robert Z. Lawrence, 2004. "Has Globalization Gone Far Enough: The Costs of Fragmented Markets," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 349.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hijzen, Alexander & Swaim, Paul, 2010. "Offshoring, labour market institutions and the elasticity of labour demand," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 1016-1034, November.
    2. Richard G. Anderson & Charles S. Gascon, 2008. "Offshoring, economic insecurity, and the demand for social insurance," Working Papers 2008-003, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    3. William Poole, 2007. "Protecting exports," Speech 120, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    4. Sébastien Jean & Ariell Reshef, 2017. "Why Trade, and What Would Be the Consequences of Protectionism?," CEPII Policy Brief 2017-18, CEPII research center.
    5. William R. Cline, 2010. "Financial Globalization, Economic Growth, and the Crisis of 2007-09," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 499.
    6. Hillebrand Evan E & Lewer Joshua J. & Zagardo Janice Turtora, 2011. "Backtracking from Globalization," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 10(4), pages 1-19, January.
    7. Cécile Denis & Kieran Mc Morrow & Werner Röger, 2006. "Globalisation : trends, issues and macro implications for the EU," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 254, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    8. Rodrik, Dani, 2007. "How to Save Globalization from its Cheerleaders," CEPR Discussion Papers 6494, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Cathleen Cimino & Tyler Moran, 2014. "NAFTA at 20: Misleading Charges and Positive Achievements," Policy Briefs PB14-13, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    10. Hillebrand Evan E, 2010. "Deglobalization Scenarios: Who Wins? Who Loses?," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-21, May.
    11. Dean A. DeRosa & John P. Gilbert, 2005. "Predicting Trade Expansion under FTAs and Multilateral Agreements," Working Paper Series WP05-13, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    12. J. David Richardson & Asha Sundaram, 2013. "Sizing Up US Export Disincentives for a New Generation of National-Security Export Controls," Policy Briefs PB13-13, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    13. William Poole, 2007. "U.S. export opportunities," Speech 119, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

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