Margaret Scott

自由贸易的迷信者

发自剑桥——最近我受邀到两位哈佛同事的全球化课程中客串嘉宾。“我必须警告你。”其中一位事先提醒我说:“这帮学生都是全球化的强烈拥护者。”他曾在第一堂课请在座学生在自由贸易和进口限制之间做出选择,结果有超过90%赞成前者。而且还是在尚未开始教授比较优势的神奇效应之前。

我们知道在真实调查中用同样的问题询问那些具有代表性的样本——而非哈佛学生——会得到一个截然不同的结果。在美国,限制贸易的反对者与支持者之比为2:1。但哈佛学生的答案不会令人感觉特别意外。因为那些拥有更高技术及更好教育的人往往比蓝领工人更加倾向于支持自由贸易。而或许这些哈佛学早已对自己的前(钱)途有所预期,并以此作出了决定。

又或者,他们其实并不明白贸易是如何运作的。毕竟,当我和他们见面的时候,我特意换了另一种形式来询问同样的问题,并强调贸易所可能产生的分配效应。结果支持公平贸易的共识彻底消失无踪,甚至比我预想的还要迅速。

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