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The random economist
"But part of the job of economics is weeding out errors. That is much harder than making them, but also much more fun." Robert Solow
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    The Big Drop: Trade and the Great Recession
    Recent trends in trade have invited a mix of consternation and hyperbole in the business and economics press and blogosphere alike. Discussion has ranged from worries about export credit shortfalls to resurgent import protection. The focus has been on finding the cause, and the assumption has been that the collapse in trade is unprecedented, inconsistent with the general level of economic downturn...
    Trade is Falling, but Credit is not Due to Protectionism (yet)
    Alarm bells are ringing. Trade is falling, and so we have rounded up the usual suspect -- import protection. Yet we really have not seen a sustained wave of protection so far, only a wave of anxiety. What we have seen is a real collapse in trade volumes, caused by a mix of falling demand, buyer uncertainty, and an apparent lack of export credits. It is striking that in recent revisions to U.S. GDP...
    The New Protectionism and Negative Engineering
    Dynamic markets produce innovation. Financial markets have innovated around regulation, internet content providers innovate around censorship, and now we are seeing the political marketplace drive innovations to get around constraints on protectionism. Following the global experience of the 1930s, the post-War multilateral system has been surprisingly successful at driving a process of collective ...