Also found in: Idioms.
An international trade policy of competitive devaluations and increased protective barriers that one country institutes to gain at the expense of its trading partners.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.
A protectionist policy involving the devaluation of one's currency and the construction of tariffs barriers on other countries. The goal of a beggar-thy-neighbor policy is to increase demand for a country's exports (by devaluing the currency and making a country's goods less expensive in other countries) while also reducing demand for the countries imports (by making them more expensive through the tariff barriers). A form of this policy, notably the tariff barrier, was implemented at the beginning of the Great Depression with almost no success. A beggar-thy-neighbor policy in the United States caused other countries to follow suit, resulting in a massive decrease in international trade. This made the Depression worse. See also: Smoot-Hawley Act.
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