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Journal cover: International Journal of Social Economics

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Online from: 1974

Subject Area: Economics

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Must protectionism always violate rights?

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Title:Must protectionism always violate rights?
Author(s):Walter Block, (Economics Department of College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA), Robert W. McGee, (W. Paul Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey, USA)
Citation:Walter Block, Robert W. McGee, (1997) "Must protectionism always violate rights?", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 24 Iss: 4, pp.393 - 407
Keywords:Protectionism, Rights issues, Trade barriers
Article type:Case study
DOI:10.1108/03068299710162231 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:Explores the question of whether protectionist policies must always violate someone’s rights, or whether it is possible to have a protectionist policy that does not violate rights. Discusses the weaknesses of a utilitarian approach to trade theory, then goes on to examine the major forms of protectionism, including tariffs, quotas, anti-dumping laws, and the deliberate manipulation of exchange rates. Discusses rights and makes a distinction between positive and negative rights. Applies rights theory to trade policy and concludes that protectionism necessarily violates someone’s rights to property, contract or association - unless it is done on a voluntary basis.

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