Volume 53, January/February 2018, Number 1 · pp. 22-26
Who Benefits from Trade Wars?
Even though economists keep on emphasising the benefits of international trade, protectionism is on the rise in many industrialised countries. The authors argue that a potential explanation for this phenomenon can be found in the short-run distributional effects of import tariffs: while protectionism hurts the economy from an aggregate perspective (i.e. GDP goes down), unskilled workers in import-competing sectors benefit in the short run and do not lose in the long run. They might therefore lend political support to protectionism.
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