New Paper on the Trade (Policy) Discourse in Top Economic Journals by Matthias Aistleitner and Stephan Pühringer

The paper The Trade (Policy) Discourse in Top Economics Journals has been published in New Political Economy (online first) and investigates the elite economics discourse on trade policies during the last 20 years regarding specific characteristics of authors, affiliations, citation patterns, the overall attitude towards trade, as well as the methodological approach applied in these papers. The analysis yields the following results: First, the hierarchical structure of economics also manifests in the debate about trade. Second, while we found some indications of a shift towards more empirically oriented work, quite often empirical data is solely used to calibrate models rather than to challenge potentially biased theoretical assumptions. Third, top economic discourses on trade are predominantly characterised by a normative bias in favour of trade-liberalisation-policies. Forth, we found that other-than-economic impacts and implications of trade policies (political, social and cultural as well as environmental issues) to a great extent either remain unmentioned or are rationalised by means of pure economic criteria.

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