Many libertarian and conservative economists I know are good at pointing out the unintended, and usually negative, consequences of domestic government policy. But a smaller subset of these people seem willing to look at foreign policy with the same skeptical eye. As I have written elsewhere [gated], they should be even more skeptical when looking at foreign policy, for two reasons:
1. The information problem: It's often hard for citizens to get information about the effects of government's actions on the domestic front. It's even harder for citizens to get information about the effects of their government's actions in other countries.
2. The incentive problem: One of the things that makes government domestic intervention less harmful than otherwise is that the politicians need to take account of voters. But the main victims of a government's foreign policy are usually not the people who live in the country that government governs. The main victims live in foreign countries--and they don't get to vote.
Thursday, August 02, 2012
Publicada por Miguel Madeira em 11:35