International Trade and the Trans Pacific Partnership were hot topics in the 2016 presidential race. While this course takes place after the election, trade remains relevant as the world deals with the effects of globalization. Understanding Global Trade provides a thorough explanation of what shapes the international organization of production and distribution and the resulting trade flows. It reviews the evolution of knowledge in this field from Adam Smith to today as a process of theoretical modeling, accumulation of new empirical data, and then revision of analytical frameworks in response to evidence and changing circumstances. It explains the sources of comparative advantage and how they lead countries to specialize in making products which they then sell to other countries. While foreign trade contributes to the overall welfare of a nation, it also creates winners and losers, and Elhanan Helpman describes mechanisms through which trade affects a country’s income distribution.
GROUP LEADER: William O’Brien holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Northeastern University and is Professor of Economics at Worcester State University. His research interests range from the effect of taxes on economic behavior to the determinants of MCAS scores.
REQUIRED BOOK: Understanding Global Trade, Elhanan Helpman, Belknap Press, Harvard University, 2011, ISBN# 9780674060784, available in the Assumption Bookstore. Occasional handouts will be distributed in class. For first class meeting browse http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globalization for an overview of globalization. Browse https://ustr.gov/tpp/ for an overview of TPP. Read Chapters 1 and 2 of Understanding Global Trade
Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609