Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Most Useful Corrective

One of the things I like most about economists is that, in general, we are good critical thinkers who eschew dogma and ideology. Unfortunately, we seem to fall into some bad habits when it comes to certain issues - trade, in particular. That's why I found this paper, "Deconstructing the Argument for Free Trade" by Robert Driskill of Vanderbilt such a useful corrective. From the introduction:
The claim we make here is that, in light of economists' apparent settled judgment on the issue of trade liberalization, the profession has stopped thinking critically on the question and, as a consequence, makes poor quality arguments justifying their consensus.
It came to my attention via Dani Rodrik's blog. Rodrik says "Once in a while you come across a paper that makes you nod in agreement and go "yes!" with every sentence you read."

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