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The Oxford Handbook of International Commercial Policy

ISBN: 9780195378047 | 0195378040
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Pub. Date: 5/18/2012

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As we enter the 2010s, the global economy is becoming increasingly integrated. International trade has been growing rapidly, an ostensibly irresistible trend that was only temporarily disrupted by the 2008-09 global recession. Globalization has become associated with a country's economic success while failure to open up markets is often viewed as a cause of economic stagnation. This is predicted by economic theory and verified by empirical investigations. One reason for the growth of trade is the impressive reduction of trade barriers over the past 60 years; namely the pursuit of liberal commercial policy by many countries, led by the United States. Yet, particularly with the economic malaise that has persisted since the Great Recession, the role of commercial policy has become increasingly controversial in the media and other public fora. The relationship between trade and employment, as well as the implications of trade for income distribution, are examples of profound influences on national economies that have provoked intensive debate in the public realm. These domestic effects go a long way towards explaining the widespread backlash against globalization that we have observed in recent years. This volume of contributions from some of the best-known international trade economists explores and analyzes the various aspects of commercial policy -- theoretical, empirical, and institutional -- in a way that standard texts in international economics do not. It does this via two sets of chapters: the first part covers general approaches to commercial policy, including theoretical, institutional, historical, and empirical contributions. Topics addressed include a general analysis of free trade compared to its alternatives, the future of the international trading system (including the regional trade agreement zeitgeist), trade's effects on employment, and the "special" case of agriculture. The second part is comprised of country-specific and regional applications, including case studies of key players in the international trading system (United States, the European Union, and Japan); small, open markets (Australia and Israel); large emerging markets (China and India); and a South-South regional grouping (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations).


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