Dilemmas in the World’s Economy





Elhanan Helpman (Department of Economics
Freshman Seminar 71R     4 credits (fall term)     Enrollment:  Limited to 12

Standards of living vary greatly across countries, they rise fast in some and slowly in others. Economic growth has historically been related to the expansion of international commerce as well as industrialization and institutional reforms. How does a country’s well-being and growth depend on its trade partners? Is globalization in the form of international integration desirable? Do all income classes benefit from globalization? What role do trade policies play in shaping the benefits and costs of globalization? We will discuss the historical evidence on economic growth, the expansion of commerce, and the evolution of trade policies. We will also discuss the nature of these processes and the interdependence between them. Using this knowledge, we shall discuss the pros and cons of globalization and the tradeoffs faced by policy makers. These tradeoffs will be illustrated with contemporary policy debates concerning tariffs and free trade agreements. Finally, we will discuss the impact of globalization on inequality within countries and in the world economy.

See also: Fall 2022