One of the classic insights in the field of international trade is that there are aggregate welfare gains from trade. However, an equally fundamental insight is that there are both winners and losers from trade. Although the existence of aggregate welfare gains implies that in principle the winners can afford to compensate the losers and still be better off, there is no automatic mechanism that guarantees that this compensation takes place. The resulting distributional consequences of changes in the level of trade raise a whole series of public policy questions. Is trade liberalization justified based on its aggregate welfare gains? Should trade liberalization be treated any differently from technological change that also creates winners and losers? What are the economic consequences of protectionist trade policies such as tariffs for firms, consumers and aggregate welfare? How would various policy alternatives, including tax and transfer policies, address the distributional consequences of trade and technological change?
To promote research on these issues, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), with the support of the Smith Richardson Foundation, will convene a conference that will bring together researchers working on various issues related to the economic consequences of trade. The conference will be organized by Stephen Redding (Princeton University and NBER). The NBER welcomes submissions of both empirical and theoretical research on all aspects of the economic effects of international trade, and encourages submissions by scholars who are early in their careers, who are not NBER affiliates, and who are from groups that are under-represented in the economics profession.
To be considered for inclusion on the program, papers must be uploaded here by January 20, 2019.
Complete papers are preferred, but extended abstracts may also be submitted. Papers that have been accepted for publication and will be published by April 2019 are not eligible for presentation. Authors chosen to present papers will be notified in late January, 2019.
The conference will begin the morning of Friday, April 5, 2019, and conclude by mid-afternoon on Saturday, April 6. There will be a conference dinner on Friday evening. The NBER will pay a modest honorarium to the authors of each selected paper, and cover the economy class travel and hotel expenses for two authors per paper and for discussants and panelists. Additional co-authors and other interested researchers are welcome to attend as space permits. Questions about this conference may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.