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What's the impact of trade on inequality?

You can download the event's slides below:


The growth of international trade, and of trade between lower-income countries and high-income countries in particular, has had profound effects on the labour markets and even the politics of high-income countries.

This online event will focus in on what economists have learned about how trade affects inequality in rich countries over the past two decades: Why did some countries like Germany apparently adjust better to recent waves of globalization than other countries like the US and the UK? How did trade with low income countries affect the prices of goods bought by rich and poor consumers? What impact did import competition have on public attitudes towards trade and political outcomes in rich countries? How might changes in trade patterns and barriers following Brexit affect inequality among workers in the UK? And what does previous evidence suggest the main challenges of Brexit might be for the UK labour market?

Chaired by IFS Director Paul Johnson, it will feature a series of short talks from leading experts on international trade, including:

  • David Dorn, Professor at the University of Zurich
  • Pinelopi Goldberg, Professor at Yale University and former chief economist at the World Bank
  • Peter Levell, Associate Director at IFS

Talks will be followed by time for your questions. The presentations will draw on a chapter on “Trade and Inequality in Europe and the United States” written as part of the wide-ranging IFS Deaton Review into inequalities funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

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