Trade & Globalisation

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    Great Divergence: The steamship gives us clues on the impacts of globalisation

Great Divergence: The steamship gives us clues on the impacts of globalisation

How does globalisation affect development? This question has a long tradition in economics and has been much debated both in academia and in policy circles.

Neoclassical theories tell us that reducing trade barriers across countries should provide net benefits to individual economies by making markets more efficient and stimulating competition. Testing these theories, however, turns out to be difficult: rich […]

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    Brexit: blame it on the loss of industrial jobs, not on globalisation

Brexit: blame it on the loss of industrial jobs, not on globalisation

‘Brexit is a rejection of globalisation’ (Larry Elliott, Guardian, 26th June 2016).
Larry Elliott’s claim about the causes of Brexit is stark, but one echoed, if usually in slightly more qualified fashion, by many other commentators. For example, in her Sylvia Ostry lecture in September 2016, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, put forward similar ideas, with the theme […]

Is free trade an economic example of asymmetrical warfare?

The so-called golden era of globalised trade that began shortly after World War II has more than a few things to recommend it. Trade liberalisation has lifted hundreds of millions of people from crushing poverty, promoted productivity and growth and linked once-hostile nations in a network of mutual dependence that lessened the chances of another ruinous military conflict.

So why […]

Globalisation won’t do away with variations in capitalism

The Cold War from 1948 to 1991 polarised opinion between advocates of capitalism and supporters of Soviet-style socialism. But after the fall of the Berlin Wall the conversation became more variegated. There was a remarkable growth in the literature on ‘varieties of capitalism’ including works by Michel Albert (1993), Colin Crouch and Wolfgang Streeck (1997), Bruno Amable (2000), Masahiko […]

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    If NAFTA fails, Canada should reach across the Atlantic to the UK

If NAFTA fails, Canada should reach across the Atlantic to the UK

The future of the North American Free Trade Agreement is looking increasingly uncertain under Donald Trump as president of the United States. In case NAFTA implodes, Armand de Mestral proposes the creation of the Atlantic Free Trade Area between Canada and the United Kingdom, in a framework involving Europe and the US.

A close look at NAFTA

NAFTA has been in […]

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    Will TTIP be shot down or rebranded as the ‘Trump Trade and Investment Partnership’?

Will TTIP be shot down or rebranded as the ‘Trump Trade and Investment Partnership’?

With the Congressional hearings of Donald Trump’s picks underway, including questioning of Robert Lighthizer who was chosen to be US Trade Representative (USTR) in the new administration, it could seem that free trade might survive after all. Who else than a longtime international trade attorney and deputy USTR under Reagan should naturally be inclined towards free trade? Yet Donald […]

Who are the discontents of globalisation?

JPMorgan London, by Håkan Dahlström, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
The past months have been characterised by what can be called a “backlash against globalisation”. This development became most visible in the outcome of the Brexit referendum in the UK and the election of Donald Trump as the future president of the US. In both cases, the preceding campaigns massively referred to […]

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    What Donald Trump could do to ‘make America great again’ without destroying free trade

What Donald Trump could do to ‘make America great again’ without destroying free trade

US flag, by unsplash.com, under a CC0 licence
For nearly two years, unsettling comments by US presidential candidates rattled international investors. The prospect of US trade wars with China and Mexico hit global markets, already weakened by the surprising result of the Brexit referendum. The elections ended, but the financial community still cannot breathe a sigh of relief.

In order to calm […]

An isolationist America will be bad for the world

Donald Trump at Aston, PA September 13th, by Michael Vadon, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
Many things have been said during this presidential campaign and many talked about the bad things we should expect from each candidate, especially Donald Trump. But I will talk about economics – just one thing that was pushed hard by Trump: trade.

America is a big country, the […]

Internet platforms are transforming global trade

Cardboard box, by bykst, under a CC0 licence
Since 2011, the eBay Public Policy Lab and a team of economists at Sidley Austin LLP have together studied the exporting practices of firms using the online commerce platform. We have uncovered a fundamental transformation within global trade. Global trade has expanded beyond container shipments of one large company’s wares along predetermined […]

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    After the US elections, how do we return to a constructive debate about trade?

After the US elections, how do we return to a constructive debate about trade?

Container, by GREGOR, under a CC0 licence
Trade is hardly ever a prominent US election issue, and yet this year it has become the campaign’s defining economic theme. That’s because politicians on both sides of the political spectrum have decided to blame free trade agreements for what is really a much deeper post-crisis economic malaise, characterised by persistently weak job markets […]

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    Foreign investment in critical areas like nuclear power need a formal vetting process

Foreign investment in critical areas like nuclear power need a formal vetting process

Hinkley Point A power station, by Rick Crowley, under a CC BY-SA 2.0 licence
One of the first decisions taken by Theresa May as prime minister was to delay deciding on the £18 billion Hinkley Point nuclear power project. Because it was a centrepiece project as part of former chancellor George Osborne’s “Golden Age” of closer bilateral ties with China, the […]

Brexit was a rational vote by the losers from global trade

Waiting in a breadline beside the Brooklyn Bridge during the Depression. Photo: pingnews.com. Public domain
Britons voted to leave the EU by 52% to 48%. The EU is a borderless area for the movement of goods, services, investment, labour, and more across 28 European countries. Those who voted for Brexit were often described as angrily rejecting the national and international […]

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    Does special treatment in trade benefit developing countries?

Does special treatment in trade benefit developing countries?

At the launch of the Doha Round, ministers of the World Trade Organization (WTO) stated that a central goal of the negotiations was “to improve the trading prospects [and to] ensure that developing countries […] secure a share in the growth of world trade commensurate with the needs of their economic development.” Fifteen years later, the Doha Round has […]

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    What kind of relationship with the EU is best for the UK economy post-Brexit?

What kind of relationship with the EU is best for the UK economy post-Brexit?

The UK has voted to leave the EU, but not in favour of any specific alternative to EU membership. This poses a challenge for UK policy makers and the new Prime Minister Theresa May. What should the UK’s relations with the EU be, following Brexit?

It is naïve to expect economic considerations will be the only factor that determines what […]

The art, and the deal, go global

Isabella Stewart Gardner was, in her day, the very model of a modern Medici. Beginning in 1891, she used her ample inheritance to buy up paintings by Old Masters and new artists alike during her frequent visits to Paris and Venice. She brought them back to her home town of Boston and displayed them in a museum built to […]

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    Network science shows London is at the heart of the world’s corporate elite

Network science shows London is at the heart of the world’s corporate elite

In this blog article, we investigate the position of the UK within the global corporate elite network. Firms are not individual market actors, but are typically embedded in dense networks of power and control, for example based on ownership or interlocking directorates. The CORPNET research group at the University of Amsterdam studies these networks as part of a five-year research programme funded […]

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    The quiet revolution in India’s private sector and international trade

The quiet revolution in India’s private sector and international trade

In early June of 2016 Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister, visited the US and addressed the US Congress. His speech was recognised for its ability to craft a global ambitious agenda and to speak like a global power. Nor was this speech an isolated incident. For many years Indian leaders and policy makers have shown growing activism at the global level, […]

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    Is Donald Trump right when he claims that China hurts US workers?

Is Donald Trump right when he claims that China hurts US workers?

China recently surpassed the United States as the country with the largest share of world trade in goods – see Figure 1. This boom in trade with China has led to much concern about the losers from rising import competition in manufacturing. In Donald Trump’s US presidential campaign, for example, he has continuously complained about the Chinese: ‘They’re stealing […]