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Volume 53, January/February 2018, Number 1 · pp. 22-26


Who Benefits from Trade Wars?

Wolfgang Lechthaler, Mariya Mileva

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.


This Intereconomics article is available for free at this page after an embargo period of two years. Reading it before February 2020 is possible via SpringerLink or in the next library.