March 16, 2008

Mankiw on the Trade Debate

Posted in International Trade at 6:56 pm by davidprudente

Mankiw Article Graphic

The author of our text discusses the current trade debate amongst the leading presidential candidates in an article from today’s New York Times.


  1. Matt Steinberg said,

    how many presidents are actually the creators of their economic policies? sure most economists have learned to value free trade but haven’t there been presidents who say, while campaigning that they will eliminate tariffs but then don’t follow through when in office because the public is too afriad to not have some sort of barrier between us and other nations?

  2. davidprudente said,


    At least you contribute to the blog when you can’t contribute in class.

    I actually think in this case, the democratic candidates have suggested they would revisit NAFTA because it’s a popular thing to do in hard economic times. Although I think the result is the same: after the elections you won’t here much about NAFTA.

    Much of the public is more isolationist than they are free-traders. When Mankiw was the Economic Adviser to President Bush, he was berated by the media for suggesting that outsourcing was a good thing for our economy because it allowed Americans to pursue higher paying jobs while American companies enjoyed paying lower wages to workers with lower skills. This, while true, was a hard pill to swallow for American populists who generally think jobs should stay in America and be done by Americans. A similar argument is made by opponents of immigration. But really, how many Americans are lining up to pick vegetables in California or to clean hotel rooms in Florida?

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