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Ricardo's Gauntlet

Ricardo's Gauntlet

Economic Fiction and the Flawed Case for Free Trade

By Vishaal Kishore

‘Ricardo’s Gauntlet’ advances a critique of the mainstream economic case for international free trade. Taking apart the cluster of interconnected and mutually enforcing ‘economic fictions’ upon which the argument for free trade relies, the book challenges the case where it is thought to be strongest, exposing both its fragility and the urgent need for alternatives.

Paperback, 222 Pages

ISBN:9781783082995

January 2014

£13.99, $19.95

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  • About This Book
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  • Author Information
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  • Table of Contents
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About This Book

‘Ricardo’s Gauntlet’ advances a critique of the mainstream economic case for international free trade. While the core of the case for free trade is David Ricardo’s principle of comparative advantage, the book argues that this case relies on a cluster of interconnected and mutually enforcing ‘economic fictions’ – economic theories or doctrines that pretend to be fact but which upon examination turn out to be mirages. Exposing the layers of fiction nested in the subfields of mainstream economics empties comparative advantage of its persuasiveness, bringing down the case for free trade.

Reviews

‘“Ricardo’s Gauntlet” is a brilliant tour de force. Mainstream economists unanimously argue that the logic of comparative advantage and national specialization makes a rigid adherence to free trade the best policy for everyone, all the time, everywhere. Kishore devastates the argument. This is a powerful and timely contribution to the growing body of technically excellent alternatives to a stultifying orthodoxy.’ —Duncan Kennedy, Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence at Harvard Law School

Author Information

Associate Professor Vishaal Kishore is a Principal Fellow in the Melbourne School of Government, University of Melbourne; a government and policy strategist; and a public service senior executive.

Series

No series for this title.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction: Ricardo’s Gauntlet and the Case for Free Trade; 2. Exploring the Case for Free Trade: Unexpected Twists in a Simple Story; 3. The Tale of International Trade’s Invisible Hand; 4. Clockwork Production and the Origin-Myths of Specialisation; 5. ‘And They Lived Happily Ever After...’: Fictions of Being Better Off and Stories of What ‘Should’ Be; 6. Conclusion by Way of Ideologiekritik: Fiction and Rationalisation; Notes; Bibliography; Index

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