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John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University
The Policy Challenges of Globalization: Trade and Industrial Policy
ITF 345 & Economics 2537
Professor Dani Rodrik
Course Outline
1. Where are we in globalization?
How “flat” is the world economy? How do we measure globalization? What do “volume” versus “price” measures
tell us? How much do international agreements promote trade?
2. How large are the economic gains from globalization?
What are the sources of gains from trade? How much would we gain from further economic integration? What are
the gains from the Doha agenda? Is removing remaining transaction costs on trade feasible (and desirable)?
3. Why do countries export what they do?
What is comparative advantage and how does it differ from competitive advantage? What are the determinants of
comparative advantage? How well do existing frameworks explain the pattern of trade?
4. Does it matter what countries specialize in?
How is economic growth influenced by the nature of a country’s trade and its pattern of specialization? Is there a
natural- resource curse?
5. Is outsourcing different from regular trade?
How are the efficiency and distributional effects of outsourcing different from conventional trade?
6. Is globalization bad for inequality and poverty?
Does globalization contribute to rising or falling inequality, within and across countries? What is the impact of
globalization on absolute poverty? How are these effects mediated through domestic policies?
7. What do we know about the impact of trade policy on economic performance?
How do we think of the cost (and potential benefits) of trade policy? How does trade reform interact with
problems/reforms in other areas? How do we measure the impacts? What are the dynamic/growth effects of trade
policy? How do we reconcile cross-country studies with cross-industry studies?
8. What do successful strategies of international integration look like?
How have successful countries done it? How can industrial policy help, if at all? Can it be used to good effect? Do
WTO rules leave room for it?
9. Is China a threat or opportunity?
Does China’s entry into world markets in a big way threaten to crowd out other developing countries and generate
large labor-market dislocations in advanced countries? How do we evaluate the bilateral US-China current account
10. What are the benefits (and costs) of regional trade agreements?
What are the pros and cons of RTAs? Under what circumstances can RTAs generate convergence?
11. Does the WTO work as it should?
Why does the WTO exist? Whose interests does the WTO serve? How development-friendly is the WTO? How well
does dispute settlement work? What should be on the WTO’s agenda that isn’t?