Tuesday archive: A trade deficit with a babysitter

From 10th December 2005:

Cheap foreign labour has recently made inroads into the economy of Family Harford. My wife pays a student, “Sally”, to look after the imperious Miss Harford for a few hours a week, so that my wife can get on with running her photography business. This is the simplest and most straightforward of transactions. My wife is happy, Sally is happy and even Miss Harford appears to approve of the arrangement.

How strange that if it were judged by the conventional wisdom applied to trade negotiations by newspapers, pub pundits and even our own trade negotiator, this arrangement would be regarded as economic suicide on both sides.

Continued at timharford.com.

Tim Harford’s blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

Tim, also known as the Undercover Economist, writes about the economics of everyday life.