"The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist" (Keynes 1935, 383).
Job Market Paper
Abstract. This article examines Friedrich List’s critique of the Methuen Treaty. The Methuen Treaty removed all restrictions on English wool entering Portugal and reaffirmed England’s commitment to import Portuguese wines at two-thirds the tariffs of French wines. Friedrich List argues that the agreement hurt Portugal’s textile industry and slowed Portugal’s economic growth. List’s critique of the Methuen Treaty is a strong representation of his resistance to Adam Smith and Jean-Baptiste Say, but it is isolated from his robust theoretical framework. One possible explanation for the discontinuity is that the knowledge problem undermines List’s theory. The lack of local data makes it difficult to conduct an accurate and straightforward policy analysis of the Methuen Treaty, making the analysis vulnerable to normative interpretations. Specifically, List’s disagreement with Adam Smith’s cosmopolitanism pushed him further away from a straightforward application of his theory.
Benzecry, Gabriel F and Daniel J. Smith (forthcoming). The Wisdom of Classical Political Economy in Economics: Incorporated or Lost? The Review of Austrian Economics.
Benzecry, Gabriel F. (forthcoming). Power to the People? Lobbying for Labor rights in Brazil’s National Constituent Assembly. The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy.
Benzecry, Gabriel F. (forthcoming). The Political Thought of José Osvaldo de Meira Penna. Journal of Libertarian Studies.
Work in Progress
"The King’s Gambit: Rationalizing the Fall of the Templars" with Marcus Shera(Revise and Resubmit)
"Friedrich List’s Critique of the Methuen Treaty" (Under Review)
"Can Criminals be Benevolent?" with Henry A. Thompson
"Not-So-Spontaneous Socialization Outcomes of Spontaneous Family Structures" with Daniel J. Smith