Protectionism in Retrospect: Mihail Manoilescu (1891-1950?)

Vol. 23 No. 4 (2003)

Oct-Dec / 2003
Published October 1, 2003

How to Cite

Bobulescu, Roxana. 2003. “Protectionism in Retrospect: Mihail Manoilescu (1891-1950?)”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 23 (4):622-32.

Protectionism in Retrospect: Mihail Manoilescu (1891-1950?)

Roxana Bobulescu
CEPSE, University of Grenoble, Saint-Martin-d’Hères, France.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 23 No. 4 (2003), Oct-Dec / 2003, Pages 622-632


This paper examines Mihail Manoilescu’s Theory of Protectionism. Its main point was the defense of a permanent or general protection of high productivity sectors, contrasting with List’s temporary protection of infant industries. Manoilescu’s reasoning goes into a contradiction. He argued that the productivity of agriculture and the productivity of industry would equalize in the long-term. In that case, protection would no longer be necessary. So, his argument needs an additional assumption, that is variable costs of production. Manoilescu mentioned the presence of increasing returns in industry and decreasing returns in agriculture in an appendix. This assumption renders his theory very similar with Graham’s argument and contemporary main- stream analysis of trade and protection (P. Krugman, I. Magaziner and R. Reich).

JEL Classification: B27; F10; L52; O24.

Keywords: Protectionism, trade, productivity, Manoilescu Graham