The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Free Trade and Protection

  • R. Findlay
Reference work entry


The question of ‘free trade versus protection’ is one of the oldest and most controversial issues in economics. The present article will not attempt to review this controversy from the standpoint of the history of doctrine, nor will it attempt to trace the evolution of trade policy in particular countries. Its focus is on the analytic aspects of the problem as discussed in the modern literature, which can be taken as dating from the seminal investigations of Samuelson (1939, 1962), in the tradition of Paretian welfare economics.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bhagwati, J.N. 1971. The generalized theory of distortions and welfare. In Trade, balance of payments and growth, ed. J.N. Bhagwati et al. Amsterdam: North-Holland.Google Scholar
  2. Bhagwati, J.N., and V.K. Ramaswami. 1963. Domestic distortions, tariffs and the theory of optimum subsidy. Journal of Political Economy 71: 44–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Corden, W.M. 1974. Trade policy and economic welfare. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Haberler, G. 1950. Some problems in the pure theory of international trade. Economic Journal 60: 223–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hagen, E.E. 1958. An economic justification of protectionism. Quarterly Journal of Economics 72: 496–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Johnson, H.G. 1954. Optimum tariffs and retaliation. Review of Economic Studies 21: 142–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Johnson, H.G. 1965. Optimal trade intervention in the presence of domestic distortions. In Trade, growth and the balance of payments, ed. R.E. Caves et al. Chicago: Rand-McNally.Google Scholar
  8. Samuelson, P.A. 1939. The gains from international trade. Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science 5: 195–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Samuelson, P.A. 1962. The gains from international trade once again. Economic Journal 72: 820–829.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Findlay
    • 1
  1. 1.