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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Not quite.........

Mankiw has a post scolding college econ profs for not doing enough to persuade the average Joe that free trade is a good thing.

I really think Mankiw is not giving the average Joe (or average college goer at least) enough credit. I think most people recognize the gains from free trade that specalizations by different countries can provide. What they take issue with, I think, is that it always seems to be the same people/sectors that get the benefits of the bigger pie, while the same unskilled factory workers (which make up a big chunk of the population) and sectors like farming, etc. continue to get the shaft.

People will always be against free trade until policy is such that these "losers" in the free trade game are better compensated for their losses. Economists are very quick to ignore this problem and are fast to say, "let's talk about efficiency, not equity." The problem is that the two are inseparable in reality....

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