Nye on Wine, War and Trade

John Nye of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book, War, Wine, and Taxes. The conversation covers the history of Britain and France’s trade policy, why the British drink beer and why Ricardo’s example of Britain trading wool for Portuguese wine is bizarre. Nye turns the traditional story on its head–he argues that France was more of a free trader than Britain and that the repeal of the Corn Laws was not the dividing line between Britain’s protectionist past and free trade future. At the end of the discussion, Nye emphasizes the importance of domestic free trade for economic growth. Nye on Wine, War and Trade


Bernstein on the History of Trade

William Bernstein talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the history of trade. Drawing on the insights from his recent book, A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World, Bernstein talks about the magic of spices, how trade in sugar explain why Jews ended up in Manhattan, the real political economy of the Boston Tea Party and the demise of the Corn Laws in England. The discussion closes with the political economy of trade today and the interaction between trade and income inequality. Bernstein on the History of Trade

Combating Global Poverty with a Cup of Coffee

Millions of people in the developing world struggle to survive on just a couple of dollars a day. Fair trade claims that buying fair-trade labeled coffee is a way to help the poor. But is it the best way? Professor Colleen Haight has been researching fair-trade for the past 10 years; she?s also spent time on coffee plantations in Central America talking with the coffee farmers there about their experiences. She says that while fair trade has done a lot to increase consumer awareness, it may not be the best way to actually help the poor. Prof. Haight says there is a better way to help these poor migrant workers. You can help them by buying premium coffees instead of fair trade coffee. Premium coffee beans are harvested with greater care and fetch higher prices at the market. As a result, migrant workers receive higher pay working for farms that produce premium coffees. Premium coffees and fair-trade coffees cost about the same amount, but buying premium coffees does more to help the poor than buying fair-trade labeled coffees. You have a limited amount of money; you should be able to use it in a way that maximizes the benefits to the poor.

Does Free Trade Exploit the Poor?

Ten years ago there are only 300 telephone lines, because of free trade, today over 10 million people use cellphones in Kenya. Some opponents of free trade believes that the best way to reduce poverty in Africa is through foreign aid from more developed countries and capitalism only make people poorer. Is that really the case?? Does Free Trade Exploit the Poor? ?Join June Arrunga and Johann Norberg join John to discuss whether free trade harms or helps poor people in Third World nations.

Is Your iPod Unpatriotic? Why America Shouldn’t “Buy American”

The Ipod used by an American has 451 parts that are made in dozens of nations, and creating the little doodads employs thousands of foreigners. And its final assembly is done in China-a country that right-wingers and left-wingers alike fear to be an economic threat to the U.S. Therefore, opponents of free trade argue that government should implement policies protecting the American industries and American people who care about their country should Buy American. Economist Boudreaux argues that Americans should buy whatever products they choose; neither guilt nor laws should push them to buy American.The thing that is most distinctively American is freedom. To insist that Americans should not be free to buy good from foreigners that’s very anti-American.

Learn more about how to make a case for free trade against patriotic protectionisms.

Free Trade: The Great Prosperity Machine

Some people ask Why free trade? What does trade do? Comparative advantage is the foundation of the division of labor and exchange, but it’s rarely understood. “The Great Prosperity Machine” explodes the absurdities of protectionist dogmas by showing what trade accomplishes — prosperity and peace. Join Dr. Tom Palmer to learn about how free trade generate peace and prosperity.

Free Trade & Poverty Reduction

Free trade is a powerful instrument in advancing a lot of economic and social objectives such as poverty reduction. Prof. Bhagwati explains that trade increases economic growth, and a growing economy pulls people out of poverty by providing more employment and generating revenue. Learn more about connections between free trade and poverty reduction from Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati.


International Trade Introduction

Advocating for free trade requires people to have a clear understanding for the essentials of international trade. As Simon Lester wrote in Advocates Need to Make the Important Case for Free Trade,?There is no doubt that exports are good for domestic producers, but imports are just as beneficial, if not more so, to domestic consumers. Import competition leads to lower prices, higher quality and a greater variety of goods and services to choose from. ?How does people benefit from exports and imports? What are the harms of trade barriers? This course from Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok will? take a look at the basic theories of international trade and the consequences of trade in today’s global economy.?You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about fundamental ideas such as comparative advantage, increasing returns to scale, factor endowments, and arbitrage across borders.

The consequences we discuss include the effects of offshoring, how trade has shaped the economies of China, Mexico, and Korea, when foreign direct investment is desirable, and the history of free trade and tariffs, among other topics.??Trade is a topic of increasing importance and this material will give you a better grasp on the theories and empirics as they have been developed by economists.

This course is non-technical and is accessible to a beginner. If you pass the final exam, you will earn the “International Trade” certificate from MRU University on your profile. To take the on-line course please refer to International Trade Introduction .

Principles of Economics  6th Edition   LearnLiberty

Principles of Economics

Principles of Economics?continues to be one of the most popular economics textbooks. Professor Mankiw emphasizes material you will likely find interesting about the economy (particularly if you are studying economics for the first time), including real-life scenarios, facts, and how economic concepts influence everyday decisions. You will find free lectures regarding the Principles of Economics from Learnliberty.org:? http://www.learnliberty.org/classroom-resources/principles-economics-mankiw

How Can Trade Improve Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa?

For decades, earnings from farming in many developing countries, including in sub-Saharan Africa, have been depressed by a pro-urban bias in own-country policies, as well as by governments of richer countries favouring their farmers with import barriers and subsidies. Both sets of policies reduced global economic welfare and agricultural trade, and almost certainly added to global inequality and poverty and to food insecurity in many low-income countries.

Progress has been made over the past three decades in reducing the trend levels of agricultural protection in high-income countries and of agricultural disincentives in African and other developing countries. However, there is a propensity for governments to insulate their domestic food market from fluctuations in international prices, and that has not waned. That action amplifies international food price fluctuations, yet when both food-importing and food-exporting countries so engage in insulating behaviour, it does little to advance their national food security.

Kym Anderson argues much scope remains to improve economic welfare and reduce poverty and food insecurity by removing trade distortions. He summarizes indicators of these trends and fluctuations in trade barriers before pointing to changes in both border policies and complementary domestic measures that together could improve African food security. ??