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Trade Policy and barriers to International Economic Integration

Globalisation is not an inevitable self-propelled process: Trump's trade wars and the UK's decision to leave the EU demonstrate that policy has a major role in shaping both the response to globalisation and influencing its future pace and direction.

While the study of international trade policy has traditionally focused on the impact of tariffs that increase the cost of buying and selling goods across markets, our current research agenda moves beyond these. Our focus is on the equally important, but less well understood, impediments to cross-border flows of services, knowledge, capital and people.

How and why are policies that affect these flows changing and what happens when they do? For example, what happens to economies when rules governing immigration, investment or intellectual property change? How do immigrants working in UK service firms affect productivity, offshoring and exports? When international firms can learn from one another what happens to cross-country differences in technology and what are the implications for trade and global income inequality? We apply rigorous methodology and analysis of detailed trade data to provide answers that allow a reasoned assessment of the costs and benefits of such changes.

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