Economic history and contemporary challenges to globalization

The Past Speaks

by Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke

I’m sharing the abstract of an important new paper.

The paper surveys three economic history literatures that can speak to contemporary challenges to globalization: the literature on the antiglobalization backlash of the nineteenth century, focused largely on trade and migration; the literature on the Great Depression, focused largely on capital flows, the gold standard, and protectionism; and the literature on trade and warfare.

This new working paper deals with a really important issue. Especially since 2016, the term de-globalization has entered common currency, and not just in the financial press. I’ve seen this term being used by banking executives who are trying to make sense of the current state of the world’s political and economic system. In fact, I see evidence that the growing belief among executives that significant de-globalization is imminent has influenced the strategies of important firms such as HSBC and Barclays. For that…

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