… is from pages 49-50 of Columbia University economics professor Arvind Panagariya’s excellent forthcoming book, Free Trade and Prosperity (footnotes excluded):
The absence of a sound conceptual case for import protection as the solution to infant industry promotion notwithstanding, proponents of such a case abound. Because politicians, policy analysts, and journalists, untrained in serious economic analysis, often fall victim to the claims of these proponents, it is important to subject their arguments to careful scrutiny.
Judging by the sources they cite, many of the influential proponents of infant industry protection as a means to industrialization are unaware of the post-Second World War critiques of the infant industry argument by trade economists. Among prominent names such as Alice Amsden, Ha-Joon Chang, Erik Reinert, and Robert Wade, none mention the the writings of James Meade, Harry Johnson, Herbert Grubel, Robert Baldwin, and Douglas Irwin. Instead, they commonly only rely on [Alexander] Hamilton and [Friedrich] List to make their case.
DBx: Professor Panagariya (pictured above) goes on in his new book to demolish – patiently, clearly, and thoroughly – the core arguments for protectionism offered by the likes of Chang, Reinert, and Dani Rodrik.