Bertil Ohlin Quotes
9 Sourced Quotes
It seems beyond doubt that the tariff policy pursued during the last half century has not raised the standard of living of the labouring classes. It is doubtful if agricultural duties increase the relative scarcity of manual labour compared with other factors, and they certainly raise the cost of living for the working classes. It is, however, true that manufacturing duties tend to depress the rent of farm land... It is on the whole not at all unlikely that the sum total of rent is reduced in countries with high manufacturing duties... In most countries, however, the sum of rents is small compared with the sum of wages to manual workers. Even a substantial reduction of the former brings only a slight increase in the latter.
To me it is a riddle that Knut Wicksell, who for most of his life was a fanatical representative of extreme opinions in the social debate, could present a completely different personality in the scholarly context. During the period when I knew him he was the diffident seeker after scientific truth.
International trade theory has, in my opinion, given far too much attention to the effects of certain variations, for example, in duties, on the national incomes, and too little to the effects on individual incomes. In many cases, changes in the sums count for very little, while changes in the individual incomes are distinctly relevant.
The economic history of the last half century offers two cases of serious international depressions in countries with an essential orientation towards a market economy: In the first half of the 1930ies and in the middle of the 1970ies. With some simplification one can say that in the former case recovery started after a few years without the aid of much conscious expansionist policy.