A Super-Majority of Economists Agree: Trade Barriers Should Go

A Super-Majority of Economists Agree: Trade Barriers Should Go
Sure, economists disagree among themselves about a number of public policy issues, but not about the desirability of free trade.
The latest edition of Econ Journal Watch, published by the American Institute for Economic Research in Great Barrington, Mass., reports the results a random survey (PDF) of members of the American Economic Association. Based on questionnaires returned by more than 100 members, all with Ph.D.s in economics, the survey’s author Robert Whaples reports:
The economics profession continues to show a consensus in favor of unfettered international trade, as 83 percent agree and only 10 percent disagree that the United States should eliminate remaining tariffs and other barriers.
Other issues in which the economists reached a strong consensus:
82 percent disagreed that the U.S. government should ban genetically modified crops; only 7 percent agreed.
78 percent agreed that U.S.-government subsidies for ethanol should be eliminated or reduced, compared to 10 percent who want them increased.
72 percent agreed that “A Wal-Mart store typically generates more benefits to society than costs,” versus 15 percent who disagreed.
72 percent disagree with the proposition that “Employers in the U.S. should be required to provide health insurance to ALL their employees”; 20 percent agreed.
70 percent believe the typical American saves too little; 0 percent believe we save too much.
70 percent agreed that “The U.S. should allow payments to organ donors and their families,” while 16 percent disagreed.
To learn more about why the economists are right about free trade, see my new Cato book, Mad about Trade: Why Main Street America Should Embrace Globalization.

Sure, economists disagree among themselves about a number of public policy issues, but not about the desirability of free trade.

The latest edition of Econ Journal Watch, published by the American Institute for Economic Research in Great Barrington, Mass., reports the results a random survey (PDF) of members of the American Economic Association. Based on questionnaires returned by more than 100 members, all with Ph.D.s in economics, the survey’s author Robert Whaples reports:

The economics profession continues to show a consensus in favor of unfettered international trade, as 83 percent agree and only 10 percent disagree that the United States should eliminate remaining tariffs and other barriers.

Other issues in which the economists reached a strong consensus:

  • 82 percent disagreed that the U.S. government should ban genetically modified crops; only 7 percent agreed.
  • 78 percent agreed that U.S.-government subsidies for ethanol should be eliminated or reduced, compared to 10 percent who want them increased.
  • 72 percent agreed that “A Wal-Mart store typically generates more benefits to society than costs,” versus 15 percent who disagreed.
  • 72 percent disagree with the proposition that “Employers in the U.S. should be required to provide health insurance to ALL their employees”; 20 percent agreed.
  • 70 percent believe the typical American saves too little; 0 percent believe we save too much.
  • 70 percent agreed that “The U.S. should allow payments to organ donors and their families,” while 16 percent disagreed.

To learn more about why the economists are right about free trade, see my new Cato book, Mad about Trade: Why Main Street America Should Embrace Globalization.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s