Location: Bowdoin / Stephen Meardon


Stephen Meardon

Associate Professor of Economics
(on leave for 2017-18 academic year)

Stephen J .Meardon - Bowdoin College Economics Department

Stephen Meardon, Associate Professor of Economics, came to Bowdoin in his current position in 2008. Before then he worked at Bowling Green State University, Williams College, and the Inter-American Development Bank, as well as Bowdoin College. He earned his Ph.D. in economics from Duke University in 1999 and his B.A. magna cum laude from Bowdoin College in 1993.

Professor Meardon teaches courses on the history of economic thought, the history and politics of international trade, macroeconomics, and Latin American studies. 

His most recent research examines how economic doctrines of free-trade and protection treat the problem of “reciprocity”: the attempt to secure a level footing with trade partners using a range of instruments, including treaties, executive agreements, countervailing duties, and implicit bargains.

He aims to show how new economic ideas, and new alignments of free-trade and protectionist doctrines with kindred causes (e.g. peace, international copyright, opposition to slavery, territorial expansion), have been forged in circumstances where the correct application of the doctrines is ambiguous or seemingly inexpedient.

Professor Meardon was a Fulbright scholar and lecturer at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, in the spring of 2008, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University in 2011-2012. During the spring of 2014 he was a visiting faculty member at the Universidad EAFIT in Medellín, Colombia. Since 2013 he is editor of the Journal of the History of Economic Thought. In fall 2016 he was Fulbright Chair of U.S. Studies at the Universidad del las Américas Puebla, Mexico; from January 2017 he is Director of the Western Hemispheric Trade Center, Texas A&M International University.

"The (Far) Backstory of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement." Ch. 5 in Alexandre Mendes Cunha and Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak, eds., The Political Economy of Latin American Independence, Routledge (2016), pp. 82-105.

"Henry C. Carey's 'Zone Theory' and American Sectional Conflict." Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 37.2 (2015): pp. 305-320.

On Kindleberger and Hegemony: From Berlin to M.I.T. and Back.” History of Political Economy  46.5 (2014): pp. 351-374.

Negotiating Free Trade in Fact and Theory: the Diplomacy and Doctrine of Condy Raguet.European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 21.1 (2014): pp. 41-77.

"'A Reciprocity of Advantages': Carey, Hamilton, and the American Protective Doctrine.Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 11.3 (2013): pp. 431-454.    

Reciprocity in Retrospect: A Historical Inquest of Bilateralism in U.S. Trade Policy” (with Treb Allen). History of Economic Thought and Policy 1.2 (2012): pp. 5-33. 

"Reciprocity and Henry C. Carey’s Traverses on ‘the Road to Perfect Freedom of Trade’.” Journal of the History of Economic Thought 33.3 (2011): pp. 307-333.

"On the Evolution of U.S. Trade Agreements: Evidence from Taussig’s Tariff Commission.Journal of Economic Issues 45.2 (2011): pp. 475-483. 

From Religious Revivals to Tariff Rancor: Preaching Free Trade and Protection during the Second American Party System.History of Political Economy 40.5 (2008): pp. 265-98.

"Postbellum Protection and Commissioner Wells’s Conversion to Free Trade.History of Political Economy 39.4 (2007): pp. 571-604.

"Richard Cobden's American Quandary: Negotiating Peace, Free Trade, and Anti-Slavery.” In Anthony Howe and Simon Morgan, eds., Rethinking Nineteenth Century Liberalism: Richard Cobden Bicentenary Essays, Ashgate (2006), pp. 203-22. Extended preview version available at Google books.

"How TRIPs Got Legs: Copyright, Trade Policy, and the Role of Government in 19th-Century American Economic Thought.History of Political Economy 37.5 (2005): pp. 140-69.

Curriculum vitae

"Michaud Downplays Benefits, Overstates Problems of New Trade Pacts,” by Stephen Meardon.  “Maine Voices” op-ed, The Portland Press Herald, August 11, 2011.

"Faculty on Faculty: An Interview with Stephen Meardon,” by Elena Cueto-Asín.  Excerpt from L.A.S. Noticias: the Latin American Studies Newsletter, Bowdoin College, no. 3, June 2010

"Bowdoin Economist Examines Colombian Trade, Then and Now,” Bowdoin Academic Spotlight, February 2009

"Smash the WTO; the 19th Century Version: Was There a Backlash Against Globalization … 120 Years Ago?”, by Andrew Leonard.  Salon.com, November 30, 2006.