Research Interests

My work has centered largely on international economics. My early work was concerned with the trade policies that developing countries adopted in an effort to accelerate their economic development. Analyzing these policies and the reasons why they did not achieve the desired results was a major focal point of my work. I started by addressing the "static" costs of these policies, as resources were allocated to activities with very high domestic resource costs. This work then generalized to discovering other problems with protective trade regimes. Earlier, it had been thought that the "costs" of protection were limited to the excess resources devoted to production of protected goods domestically. But I showed that "rent-seeking" occurred in addition, as individuals, firms, bureaucrats, labor union officials, and politicians all devoted resources to obtaining scarce import licenses. That finding in turn has led to research on the political economy of the policy reform in developing countries and more general analysis of "government failure," the possibility of which needs to be assessed alongside "market failures" in policy formation.

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Section 54: Economic Sciences