The Economists’ Statement
against the Smoot-Hawley Tariff
THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT was organized by Clair Wilcox of Swarthmore College and Paul H. Douglas of the University of Chicago and later a senator from Illinois. Fetter (1942) describes the origins of the statement, which cost a total of $140 to circulate to members of the American Economic Association. Most of the signatories were academic economists from 179 colleges and universities, including 28 signers from Columbia University, 26 from the University of Chicago, 25 from Harvard University, and 24 from Dartmouth College. Douglas (1972, 71) later wrote: “I think poor Hoover wanted to take our advice. His party was so strongly committed to protection, however, that he felt compelled to sign the bill, with the result that all our predictions came true.” Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said of the list: “It is a role of honor to this profession of economics” (Congressional Record, July 30, 1982, 18758). The text is taken from the Congressional Record, May 5, 1930, pages 8327–28.