*Peddling Protectionism*

The author is the excellent Douglas A. Irwin and the subtitle is Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression.  The book's home page is here.  Excerpt:

The popular perception is that the Smoot-Hawley tariff raised import duties to record levels and helped cause the Great Depression.  In fact, the legislated tariff increase was much smaller than commonly imagined, although it still managed to erase 15 percent of America's imports of dutiable goods upon impact.  For reasons that will be explained, it was the deflation of prices that accompanied the Great Depression that pushed the tariff to near record levels, restricting trade even more…most economic historians do not believe that the Smoot-Hawley tariff played a large role in the macroeconomic contraction experienced during the Great Depression.

It is well known that Doug is hard at work on what will prove to be "the modern Taussig," a history of international trade, and protection, in the context of the rise of the American economy; one assumes that this more focused book will be feeding into the larger whole. 


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