Arnold Kling  

Globalization and Moral Intuition

How to Tell the Truth With Sta... Rodrik Turns Cowen Into Caplan...

Tyler Cowen writes,

most people support their countries to a highly irrational degree in most international questions or disputes.

This is part of a long counterpoint to Dani Rodrik on why people oppose free trade.

One way to view the Rodrik-Cowen dispute is from the perspective of Jonathan Haidt's "five-factor model" of moral intuition. In this post, I quote Will Wilkinson to the effect that the five factors are harm, reciprocity, ingroup, hierarchy, and purity. According to Haidt, both classical and modern liberals focus on harm and reciprocity (or utilitarianism and justice), giving short shrift to the other three. In that same post, I suggest ways in which modern liberals invoke the other three.

In any case, I agree with Tyler that opposition to trade is more about ingroup solidarity than about harm and reciprocity.

More on Haidt in this post. More recently, Will Wilkinson and Haidt had an illuminating dialog.

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CATEGORIES: International Trade

COMMENTS (1 to date)
Dave writes:

Haidt's liberal / conservative error on the old post (where comments are now closed) seems to me to reflect confusion in changes in the meaning of "liberal." The "classical liberals" are well characterized by narrowing morality to just harm and reciprocity (some, like Mill, had the ambition of narrowing it to just harm).

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