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Trade Policy Disaster: Lessons from the 1930s

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The 2008 financial crisis has been the worst economic contraction since the 1930s. To boost economic activity and curb rising unemployment, governments have employed various measures from expenditure spending to quantitative easing. One bright side is that we do not observe the rampant use of protectionism as we did during the Great Depression. In Trade Policy Disaster, which is based on the 2010 Ohlin Lectures, Douglas Irwin gleans lessons from the 1930s and cautions policymakers today against the use of shortsighted measures like protectionist policies in combating economic crises...

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