Douglas A. Irwin

Douglas A. Irwin is Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College. He is the author of Free Trade under Fire, Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression, and other books.

  • Trade Policy Disaster

    Trade Policy Disaster

    Lessons from the 1930s

    Douglas A. Irwin

    The extreme protectionism that contributed to a collapse of world trade in the 1930s is examined in light of the recent economic crisis.

    The recent economic crisis—with the plunge in the stock market, numerous bank failures and widespread financial distress, declining output and rising unemployment—has been reminiscent of the Great Depression. The Depression of the 1930s was marked by the spread of protectionist trade policies, which contributed to a collapse in world trade. Although policymakers today claim that they will resist the protectionist temptation, recessions are breeding grounds for economic nationalism, and countries may yet consider imposing higher trade barriers. In Trade Policy Disaster, Douglas Irwin examines what we know about trade policy during the traumatic decade of the 1930s and considers what we can learn from the policy missteps of the time.

    Irwin argues that the extreme protectionism of the 1930s emerged as a consequence of policymakers' reluctance to abandon the gold standard and allow their currencies to depreciate. By ruling out exchange rate changes as an adjustment mechanism, policymakers turned instead to higher tariffs and other means of restricting imports. He offers a clear and concise exposition of such topics as the effect of higher trade barriers on the implosion of world trade; the impact of the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930; the reasons some countries adopted draconian trade restrictions (including exchange controls and import quotas) but others did not; the effect of preferential trade arrangements and bilateral clearing agreements on the multilateral system of world trade; and lessons for avoiding future trade wars.

    • Hardcover $30.00 £24.00
  • The Political Economy of Trade Policy

    The Political Economy of Trade Policy

    Papers in Honor of Jagdish Bhagwati

    Robert C. Feenstra, Gene M. Grossman, and Douglas A. Irwin

    This collection of papers by former students and colleagues celebrates the profound impact that Jagdish Bhagwati has had on the field of international economics over the past three decades. Bhagwati, who is the Arthur Lehman Professor of Economics at Columbia University, has made pathbreaking contributions to the theory of international trade and commercial policy, including immiserizing growth, domestic distortions, economic development, and political economy. His success and influence as a teacher and mentor is widely recognized among students at both MIT and Columbia, and as founder of the Journal of International Economics, he has encouraged research on many questions of theoretical and policy relevance. The political economy of trade policy, Bhagwati's most recent area of interest, is the theme of this collection which addresses salient topics including market distortions, income distribution, and the political process of policy-making.

    Sections and Contributors Market Distortions, T. N. Srinivasan. Paul A. Samuelson. Paul R. Krugman • Trade and Income Distribution, Douglas A. Irwin. Richard A. Brecher and Ehsan U. Choudri. Robert C. Feenstra and Gordon H. Hanson. Earl L. Grinols • Perspectives on Political Economy, Robert E. Baldwin. Peter Diamond • Models of Political Economy and Trade, Gene M. Grossman and Elhana Helpman. John Douglas Wilson. B. Peter Rosendorff. Arvind Panagariya and Ronald Findlay

    • Hardcover $12.75 £9.99
  • Political Economy and International Economics

    Political Economy and International Economics

    Jagdish N. Bhagwati and Douglas A. Irwin

    Political Economy and International Economics is the fifth volume of collected essays by the noted economist Jagdish Bhagwati. Following Essays in International Economic Theory (edited by Robert Feenstra) and Essays in Development Economics (edited by Gene Grossman), it reflects Bhagwati's wide range of interests and his rare ability to combine economic theory and political analysis.Many of Bhagwati's writings provide fresh insights into old problems, from the theory of commercial policy, to foreign investment and labor migration; others open up new areas such as services to analysis. Recent work on the theory of political economy, including DUP (directly unproductive profit-seeking) activities and quid pro quo direct investment, breaks new ground. Also included are a number of previously inaccessible lectures covering such important issues as poverty and public policy. Cutting across several fields of economics, including public finance and development, these provide masterly syntheses and overviews of broader issues.

    • Hardcover $49.95
    • Paperback $10.75 £8.99

Contributor

  • Offshoring of American Jobs

    Offshoring of American Jobs

    What Response from U.S. Economic Policy?

    Jagdish N. Bhagwati, Alan S. Blinder, and Benjamin M. Friedman

    Two leading economists discuss a range of issues relating to the “offshoring” of American jobs, from free trade to unemployment levels.

    It is no surprise that many fearful American workers see the call center operator in Bangalore or the factory worker in Guangzhou as a threat to their jobs. The emergence of China and India (along with other, smaller developing countries) as economic powers has doubled the supply of labor to the integrated world economy. Economic theory suggests that such a dramatic increase in the supply of labor without an accompanying increase in the supply of capital is likely to exert downward pressure on wages for workers already in the integrated world economy, and wages for most workers in the United States have indeed stagnated or declined. In this book, leading economists Jagdish Bhagwati and Alan S. Blinder offer their perspectives on how the outsourcing of labor and the shifting of jobs to lower-wage countries affect the U.S. economy and what, if any, policy responses are required. Bhagwati, in his colorful and pithy style, focuses on globalization and free trade, while Blinder, erudite and witty, addresses the significance of labor market adjustment caused by trade. Bhagwati's and Blinder's contributions are followed by comments from economists Richard Freedman, Douglas A. Irwin, Lori G. Kletzer, and Robert Z. Lawrence. Bhagwati and Blinder then respond separately to the issues raised. Benjamin Friedman, who edited this volume (and organized the symposium that inspired it), provides an introduction.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99