Douglas A. Irwin

John Sloan Dickey Third Century Professor in the Social Sciences                       Phone:  (603) 646-2942
Department of Economics                                                                                          Fax: (603) 646-2122
Dartmouth College                                                                                      e-mail:
Hanover, NH 03755-3514

Research Interests:  My research focuses primarily on U.S. trade policy, past and present, as well as the Great Depression. 



·         Hayek versus Keynes?  What about Gustav Cassel’s warnings of deflation and depression in the 1920s, anticipating the Great Depression?  (November 2011; forthcoming, Journal of Money, Credit and Banking)

·         We avoided a repeat of 1929-33, but can we avoid a 1937-38 double dip?  Here is something on the policy mistake of 1937 (Financial History Review¸2012).

·         The French Gold Sink and the Great Deflation (Cato Papers on Public Policy, 2012).


·         Recently Published:  Trade Policy Disaster: Lessons from the 1930s (MIT Press, 2012).  Click here for the page.  To see the preface of the book, click here.  This book is based on the Ohlin Lectures that I gave at the Stockholm School of Economics in September 2010.

·         The Slide to Protectionism in the Great Depression:  Who Succumbed and Why?  (co-authored with Barry Eichengreen, Journal of Economic History, 2010). 

 Hint:  the gold standard mattered a lot.


·         Some related thoughts on currency disputes/fixed exchange rates and trade policy for the June 2011 issue of the IMF’s Finance and Development.  

·         Nixon and the 1971 import surcharge to achieve an appreciation of foreign currencies (World Trade Review, 2013).


·         Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression – published by Princeton University Press in February 2011.  You can order from by clicking here.  See a preview in my Wall Street Journal op-ed on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Smoot-Hawley tariff.


·         Reviews:  Financial Times, Economic Principals, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Fiscal Times, The New Republic




·         New Edited Book:  with Richard SyllaFounding Choices: American Economic Policy in the 1790s, based on an NBER conference.  This book has just been published by the University of Chicago Press and is available (in paperback!) at this Amazon link.


·         A recent Wall Street Journal essay (October 9, 2010) on “Goodbye Free Trade? High tariffs and currency wars cost us big in the 1930s.  We can avoid making the same mistakes again.”

Last Update: May 31, 2013