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International Trade

The International Trade group at Yale extends across the Department of Economics and the School of Management and includes renowned faculty who work on theoretical, empirical, and quantitative trade models, as well as trade policy, political economy, and international finance.

Researchers in the International Trade Program seek to understand how workers, firms, and regions respond to trade, both within and across countries. Active areas of research include the impact of globalization on US structural change towards services, the relocation of energy-intensive industries towards countries with less stringent environmental regulations, the relationship between innovation and immigration, language barriers in multinational organizations, the dismantling of capital controls at the end of the Bretton Woods era, the short- and long-run effects of the refugee crisis in Europe, and the role of international climate agreements in addressing climate change.

The Cowles Foundation provides a uniquely supportive environment for work in international trade. The Program in International Trade provides direct research support to students and faculty, support for postdoc positions, and support for short term and long term academic visitors. The International Trade group also benefits from initiatives funded by the Yale Economic Growth Center.

Seminars and Conferences

The Department holds a weekly International Trade Workshop at which faculty from Yale and other universities and advanced graduate students make presentations. The Department also runs a weekly International and Spatial Economics Lunch where Yale faculty and graduate students present work in its early stages. Additionally, The Department hosts International Trade Days, which host both internal and external participants during the academic year.

The International Trade Program hosts two flagship conferences. The Cowles International Trade Summer Conference meets annually and brings together top economists in the field to present new research in front of large audiences. Recent conferences have focused on themes such as foreign investment, global value chains, and technology diffusion. The Trade Day meets multiple times a year and brings together top scholars to present new research in a smaller venue for workshopping. Recent Trade Days have featured research on supply chain resilience and disruptions, infrastructure investments, and foreign investment.

For more information about these events, see the Cowles Conferences and Workshops page.

Graduate Teaching and Research

The International Trade sequence consists of two courses: 720 and 721. On the theoretical side, these courses cover the theory of international trade, policy, and institutions. Specifically the sequence covers: discussion of classical, neo-classical, and imperfect competition scale economies based static models of trade; dynamic extensions of some of the models that explore the relations among trade, innovation, and growth; the analytics of trade policy issues, such as gains from trade, tariffs, and quotas, customs unions and free trade areas, and the political economy of trade policy making. On the empirical side, the sequence covers a variety of topics in international trade with particular emphasis on current research areas. Topics include tests of international trade theories; studies of the relationship between international trade, labor markets, and income distribution; recent trade liberalization episodes in developing countries; empirical assessment of various trade policies, such as VERs and Anti-Dumping; productivity (and its relation to international trade liberalization); and exchange rates, market integration, and international trade.

For detailed field descriptions, please see the Department’s PhD Program Page.