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The theory and practice of free trade

Listed author(s):
  • David M. Gould
  • Roy J. Ruffin
  • Graeme L. Woodbridge

David M. Gould, Roy J. Ruffin, and Graeme L. Woodbridge argue that free trade is supported both by economic principles and evidence from countries that have followed open market policies. The authors demonstrate that the countries whose markets are the most open have higher real output and economic growth. ; The authors show that many arguments for protection obscure the benefits countries derive from international trade. High-wage countries not only can compete with low-wage countries, they dominate the world economic stage. Trade deficits or surpluses are not inherently bad or good, but rather reflect a country's consumption and investment decisions over time. Moreover, there is no evidence to suggest that imports cause systematic unemployment or that exports create systematic employment. The authors explain why industrial policies and protection designed to promote particular industries usually backfire; trade policies usually reflect the lobbying efforts of the most vocal and powerful self-interest groups.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its journal Economic and Financial Policy Review.

Volume (Year): (1993)
Issue (Month): Dec ()
Pages: 1-16

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedder:y:1993:i:dec:p:1-16
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