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Robert Lawrence

Albert L. Williams Professor of International Trade and Investment

This course focuses on the political economy of trade in goods and services across borders. Beyond the traditional subject matter of tariffs, quotas, and other border barriers, it covers newer issues that the system has incorporated in recent decades (e.g., services, capital, and intellectual property rights), still more topics that are politically linked to trade (e.g., labor rights and the environment), and the use of trade as a tool of foreign policy. The inter-disciplinary course involves considerable work with economic data, but places greater stress on pending issues and practical problems than on economic theory. The course’s practical focus is exemplified by an integrated, semester-long exercise in which each student will write a series of short papers focused on a real-world issue in countries’ problems, options, and strategies. The material covered in those short papers will then be tied together in a single policy paper, with the short and long assignments collectively amounting to a simulation in policymaking.