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Ideas, Analogical Reasoning and International Trade Attitudes: Evidence from a Survey Experiment
Unformatted Document Text:  Table 1: Survey Question Introduction Treatments by Type of Argument Treatment Text Mercantilist“Trade is Like War” (war) Many commentators believe that imports are bad for the country because they make it poorer. They believe that trade is like war. Countries engage in both war and trade. In trade, a country earns money when it exports things and pays money when it imports things. The balance of trade is the difference between the value of what it exports to others and the value of what it imports from others. In a sense, the “balance of trade” is like the “balance of power”. Just as a country wants the balance of power to be in its favor, it wants the balance of trade to be in its favor. Therefore trade surpluses are good for the country and trade deficits are bad. Consequently, these people believe the country is wealthier the more it exports and poorer the more it imports. [141 words] Comparative Advantage “Tiger Woods” (woods) Many commentators believe that imports are good for the country because they make it wealthier. They believe that importing is like professional golfer Tiger Woods hiring someone to mow his lawn. Tiger Woods gets wealthier hiring someone as long as he earns more money playing golf in the time he saves than he pays the person he hires – even if that person mows the lawn more slowly than Woods. In a sense, Woods “exports” golfing services and “imports” lawn mowing services. Likewise, the country gets wealthier by importing as long as it earns more from concentrating extra resources on its most productive activities than it pays for those imports – even if the exporting countries produce them less efficiently. Consequently, these people believe the country is wealthier when it produces what it earns the most from and imports the rest. [140 words] Comparative Advantage “Bob Vila” (vila) Many commentators believe that imports are good for the country because they make it wealthier. They believe that importing is like home improvement television show host Bob Vila hiring someone to renovate his house. Bob Vila gets wealthier hiring someone as long as he earns more money developing his show in the time he saves than he pays the person he hires – even if that person renovates more slowly than Vila. In a sense, Vila “exports” hosting services and “imports” home renovation services. Likewise, the country gets wealthier by importing as long as it earns more from concentrating extra resources on its most productive activities than it pays for those imports – even if the exporting countries produce them less efficiently. Consequently, these people believe the country is wealthier when it produces what it earns the most from and imports the rest. [142 words] Note: All preambles are followed by the question: “Do you favor or oppose policies that limit imports from other countries?” 7

Authors: David, Lynch.
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Table 1: Survey Question Introduction Treatments by Type of Argument
Treatment
Text
Mercantilist
“Trade is Like War” (war)
Many commentators believe that imports are bad for the country
because they make it poorer. They believe that trade is like war.
Countries engage in both war and trade. In trade, a country earns
money when it exports things and pays money when it imports
things. The balance of trade is the difference between the value of
what it exports to others and the value of what it imports from others.
In a sense, the “balance of trade” is like the “balance of power”. Just
as a country wants the balance of power to be in its favor, it wants
the balance of trade to be in its favor. Therefore trade surpluses are
good for the country and trade deficits are bad. Consequently, these
people believe the country is wealthier the more it exports and poorer
the more it imports. [141 words]
Comparative Advantage
“Tiger Woods” (woods)
Many commentators believe that imports are good for the country
because they make it wealthier. They believe that importing is like
professional golfer Tiger Woods hiring someone to mow his lawn.
Tiger Woods gets wealthier hiring someone as long as he earns more
money playing golf in the time he saves than he pays the person he
hires – even if that person mows the lawn more slowly than Woods.
In a sense, Woods “exports” golfing services and “imports” lawn
mowing services. Likewise, the country gets wealthier by importing
as long as it earns more from concentrating extra resources on its most
productive activities than it pays for those imports – even if the
exporting countries produce them less efficiently. Consequently, these
people believe the country is wealthier when it produces what it earns
the most from and imports the rest. [140 words]
Comparative Advantage
“Bob Vila” (vila)
Many commentators believe that imports are good for the country
because they make it wealthier. They believe that importing is like
home improvement television show host Bob Vila hiring someone to
renovate his house. Bob Vila gets wealthier hiring someone as long as
he earns more money developing his show in the time he saves than
he pays the person he hires – even if that person renovates more
slowly than Vila. In a sense, Vila “exports” hosting services and
“imports” home renovation services. Likewise, the country gets
wealthier by importing as long as it earns more from concentrating
extra resources on its most productive activities than it pays for those
imports – even if the exporting countries produce them less
efficiently. Consequently, these people believe the country is
wealthier when it produces what it earns the most from and imports
the rest. [142 words]
Note: All preambles are followed by the question: “Do you favor or oppose policies that limit imports from
other countries?
7


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