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Quotation of the Day…

… is from Arnold Kling’s essay “International Trade,” which is a chapter in the indispensable Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (David Henderson, ed.) (footnote deleted; emphasis and links original):

The noneconomic views of trade all seem to stem from a common root: the tendency for human beings to emphasize tribal rivalries. For most people, viewing trade as a rivalry is as instinctive as rooting for their national team in Olympic basketball.

To economists, Olympic basketball is not an appropriate analogy for international trade. Instead, we see international trade as analogous to a production technique. Opening up to trade is equivalent to adopting a more efficient technology. International trade enhances efficiency by allocating resources to increase the amount produced for a given level of effort. Classical liberals, such as Richard Cobden, believed that free trade could bring about world peace by substituting commercial relationships among individuals for competitive relationships between states.

DBx: Pictured above is Free Trade Hall in Manchester. Built in 1853 to commemorate the repeal of Britain’s corn laws, today it’s an excellent hotel owned by Radisson.