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Politics and Foreign Trade

Dwight R. Lee
With rare, and typically short-lived exceptions, governments reduce economic productivity and their citizens’ prosperity by either taxing or imposing quotas on imports. This is because when a trade restriction is being considered, politicians will hear plenty from those favoring the restriction and little from those harmed by it. The result is a bias toward providing concentrated benefits and ignoring much larger but dispersed costs. (7.51 minutes)
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