International trade has historically been a force for development and poverty reduction. But trade is increasingly viewed as contributing to inequality and risk. It is also seen as depleting natural resources and a growing threat to the environment. Finally, there is a growing belief that trade is a zero-sum game and not a mutually beneficial process. As a result, protectionism is on the rise and policy makers are increasingly resorting to unilateral solutions, internationally and domestically, often at odds with the lessons from economics research. Given the depth of global interdependence, and the fact that many countries are also still pursuing liberalizing policies in parallel to restrictive ones, the outcomes for development are difficult to predict.
To discuss the role of international trade on development outcomes and their sustainability and inclusivity, the World Bank and the editorial team from the Journal of International Economics are hosting a research conference in Washington, DC on September 12-13, 2024. The conference will be organized by Journal of International economics co-editors Costas Arkolakis (Yale University), Martin Uribe (Columbia University), and World Bank economists Erhan Artuc, Ana Fernandes, Manuel García-Santana and Daria Taglioni (World Bank Development Research Group). The scientific selection committee comprises Davin Chor (Dartmouth College), Kerem Cosar (University of Virginia), Tatjana Kleineberg (World Bank Development Research Group), Bob Rijkers (World Bank Development Research Group). Papers that will be selected for the conference will be considered for inclusion in a special issue of the Journal of International Economics with guest editor Ben Faber (University of California, Berkeley).