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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 151 of Texas Tech economist (and GMU Econ alum) Ben Powell’s superb 2014 book, Out of Poverty: Sweatshops in the Global Economy (footnote excluded; link added):

UnknownEconomists have long contended that free trade promotes economic freedom.  In the nineteenth century, Richard Cobden and Frederic Bastiat contended that free trade spreads economic freedom abroad by disseminating new ideas.  The new ideas might be embodied in the goods themselves or they might come from how trade affects views toward market exchange compared with isolationist subsistence.  It turns out they were right.  When a more economically free country trades with a less economically free country, the less economically free country becomes more free.  Economists Russ Sobel and [GMU Econ’s] Peter Leeson found that countries “catch” approximately 20 percent of their trading partners’ levels and changes in economic freedom.