Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression

Kobo eBook available

read instantly on your Kobo or tablet.

buy the ebook now

Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression

by Douglas A. Irwin

Princeton University Press | February 13, 2011 | Hardcover |

Not yet rated | write a review

The Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930, which raised U.S. duties on hundreds of imported goods to record levels, is America''s most infamous trade law. It is often associated with--and sometimes blamed for--the onset of the Great Depression, the collapse of world trade, and the global spread of protectionism in the 1930s. Even today, the ghosts of congressmen Reed Smoot and Willis Hawley haunt anyone arguing for higher trade barriers; almost single-handedly, they made protectionism an insult rather than a compliment. In Peddling Protectionism, Douglas Irwin provides the first comprehensive history of the causes and effects of this notorious measure, explaining why it largely deserves its reputation for combining bad politics and bad economics and harming the U.S. and world economies during the Depression.

In four brief, clear chapters, Irwin presents an authoritative account of the politics behind Smoot-Hawley, its economic consequences, the foreign reaction it provoked, and its aftermath and legacy. Starting as a Republican ploy to win the farm vote in the 1928 election by increasing duties on agricultural imports, the tariff quickly grew into a logrolling, pork barrel free-for-all in which duties were increased all around, regardless of the interests of consumers and exporters. After Herbert Hoover signed the bill, U.S. imports fell sharply and other countries retaliated by increasing tariffs on American goods, leading U.S. exports to shrivel as well. While Smoot-Hawley was hardly responsible for the Great Depression, Irwin argues, it contributed to a decline in world trade and provoked discrimination against U.S. exports that lasted decades.

Peddling Protectionism tells a fascinating story filled with valuable lessons for trade policy today.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 256 Pages, 5.91 × 8.66 × 0.79 in

Published: February 13, 2011

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 069115032X

ISBN - 13: 9780691150321

On re-order This popular item is currently out of stock, but we're bringing it back. Check back soon.

$33.95

Online Price
Cart

All available formats:

Reviews

– More About This Product –

Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression

Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression

by Douglas A. Irwin

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 256 Pages, 5.91 × 8.66 × 0.79 in

Published: February 13, 2011

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 069115032X

ISBN - 13: 9780691150321

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Chapter 1: Domestic Politics 11
Chapter 2: Economic Consequences 101
Chapter 3: Foreign Retaliation 144
Chapter 4: Aftermath and Legacy 184
Appendix: The Economists' Statement against the Smoot-Hawley Tariff 222
Acknowledgments 227
References 229
Index 239

From the Publisher

The Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930, which raised U.S. duties on hundreds of imported goods to record levels, is America''s most infamous trade law. It is often associated with--and sometimes blamed for--the onset of the Great Depression, the collapse of world trade, and the global spread of protectionism in the 1930s. Even today, the ghosts of congressmen Reed Smoot and Willis Hawley haunt anyone arguing for higher trade barriers; almost single-handedly, they made protectionism an insult rather than a compliment. In Peddling Protectionism, Douglas Irwin provides the first comprehensive history of the causes and effects of this notorious measure, explaining why it largely deserves its reputation for combining bad politics and bad economics and harming the U.S. and world economies during the Depression.

In four brief, clear chapters, Irwin presents an authoritative account of the politics behind Smoot-Hawley, its economic consequences, the foreign reaction it provoked, and its aftermath and legacy. Starting as a Republican ploy to win the farm vote in the 1928 election by increasing duties on agricultural imports, the tariff quickly grew into a logrolling, pork barrel free-for-all in which duties were increased all around, regardless of the interests of consumers and exporters. After Herbert Hoover signed the bill, U.S. imports fell sharply and other countries retaliated by increasing tariffs on American goods, leading U.S. exports to shrivel as well. While Smoot-Hawley was hardly responsible for the Great Depression, Irwin argues, it contributed to a decline in world trade and provoked discrimination against U.S. exports that lasted decades.

Peddling Protectionism tells a fascinating story filled with valuable lessons for trade policy today.

From the Jacket

"An astute and well-told account of a law more often invoked than understood, Irwin''s examination of the Smoot-Hawley Act explains how--for good or ill--Congress lost its credibility as a maker of trade law. A valuable book for anyone who wants to understand the Great Depression and whether it could come back."--Eric Rauchway, author of Blessed Among Nations and The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Very Short Introduction

"Douglas Irwin''s elegant and sophisticated account of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff clears up some powerful and persistent myths. As Irwin shows, the tariff didn''t begin with congressional logrolling (though that contributed substantially to the eventual outcome), it didn''t cause the stock market panic of October 1929, and it didn''t cause the Great Depression (but neither did it counteract deflation from abroad as some Keynesians and monetarists have claimed). And many of the book''s details are fascinating and even bizarrely amusing."--Harold James, Princeton University

"Economists and economic historians have closely examined the Smoot-Hawley Tariff over the past few decades, but no one before Douglas Irwin has pulled together such a wide-ranging body of evidence to give us a solid and detailed understanding of the passage and impact of the bill. Understanding the Great Depression has become even more important since the global financial crisis, and that makes this book very timely. Brief, accessible, and clear, Peddling Protectionism should appeal to a wide range of readers."--Robert Whaples, Wake Forest University

"It would not surprise me if this became the definitive economic history of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff. Synthesizing and fleshing out the best research and nicely connecting economics and politics, Peddling Protectionism provides a fuller accounting of, and a deeper perspective on, what is arguably the best-known U.S. tariff of the twentieth century."--Kris Mitchener, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

Editorial Reviews

"It is, to put it mildly, a challenge to write an interesting and lively history of tariff policy. In his graceful study of the Smoot-Hawley tariff, economist Douglas Irwin successfully rises to the task. . . . Scholars of the period will find much that is valuable in Irwin''s analytical and readable narrative."--Jason Scott Smith, Journal of American Studies
Item not added

This item is not available to order at this time.

See used copies from 00.00
  • My Gift List
  • My Wish List
  • Shopping Cart