Hub Leader: Stephen Kinsella 

Stephen Kinsella is an economist at the University of Limerick in Ireland and currently a research fellow at the University of Melbourne in Australia. Stephen’s research is in macroeconomic modelling and the economics of austerity. As Globalisation Hub leader Stephen will assess grants, organise physical and online events around themes related to the question of ‘can globalisation benefit all?’ and contribute to the policy debate around these issues.



Macroeconomists typically approach globalisation in terms of greater market access. More goods and services are available for consumption, budget constraints are loosened by the ability to borrow and lend overseas and access to external asset markets allows greater diversification of risk. Yet the domain of economic policy is primarily the nation-state; fiscal and monetary policies operate mostly through the domestic economy. At this simple level, globalisation can be shown to lead to higher standards of living.

Economists also have specialised models for specific markets, which can raise challenges to this macroeconomic approach. The current age of globalisation – deeper integration of economic activity across national borders – began after the Bretton Woods era. For the most part, it has supported rising prosperity, particularly in large low-income countries.

China’s Premier Xi recently emerged as its unlikely champion. As long as prosperity is broadly aligned with other social objectives, such as inclusion, fairness and environmental sustainability, then globalisation is likely to be supported. However, several recent surveys of public opinion have indicated doubts about its efficacy. Western politicians have responded with increasingly nativist agendas, implying globalisation may have gone too far.

Research Projects

Rebuilding Globalisation and Macroeconomics, from the Grassroots
Why is corporate accountability generally difficult to enforce throughout global supply chains, and how can we encourage legal change? Read more.
Developing an Economy of Belonging
Exploring the interactions between social security and popular acceptance of globalisation, this projects aims to shed light on the relationship Read more.
Country capabilities, product complexity, and finance in the EU
This research project studies the extent to which globalization reinforces structural inequalities between nation states in the Eurozone, and which Read more.
Managing Supercycles: Globalisation and Institutional Change
Ten years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, concerns remain about the potential for shadow banking activity to cause instability. Read more.
Globalisation and Rent Sharing
Stagnating real wages and falling labour share across developed economies have challenged traditional paradigms in macroeconomics and have generated a Read more.
What drives specialisation? A century of global export patterns
The global division of labour has reached a new height under the present era of globalisation (since 1970s). But patterns Read more.

Research Questions

The foundations of this Hub were formed in our Discovery Meeting, and the below questions emerged as particularly interesting.

1. Economists have long argued the case that trade is beneficial. But the gains from trade do not necessarily benefit all without a complementary domestic policy. Why should changes in relative prices from trade as opposed to, for example, technology justify a policy intervention and what would constitute fair and effective compensation? Is financial compensation enough or is something else required?

2. Macroeconomics does not fully integrate international trade and international finance theories. Can the distributional and spatial consequences of trade be incorporated into standard macroeconomic models? Does global finance intensify rather than diminish risk, and is the comovement of capital markets preventing countries from operating an independent monetary policy?

3. Macroeconomics takes its primary objective to be the nation-state. Is this appropriate in a globalised economy and what might be the welfare benefits? We also look for research which examines the legitimacy and political economy of the Nation-State in the world economy when the domain of domestic policymaking is diminished.

These points acted as the starting point for the Globalisation Public Consultation on 27 September 2017, in Manchester, where we sought feedback from members of the public. Other research questions may be developed as a result of these discussions. Globalization was the subject of our first Discovery Meeting, held at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research on 2 June 2017.


Agendas and information from our previous workshops can be found below.

Related Videos

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Minsky Was a Shadow Banker
How did shadow banking contribute towards the global financial crisis? Is a stable shadow banking system possible? Read more.
What Drives Specialisation?
Globalisation has coincided with specialisation and wealth accumulation on unprecedented scales. By bringing together distant markets, globalisation has created... Read more.
The Institutions of Globalisation: Globalisation Hub Workshop Summary
The Institutions of Globalisation: Globalisation Hub Workshop Summary
Globalisation is the increased interconnection of markets for goods, services, capital, labour and ideas. These connections create have many indirect Read more.
How to end poverty with globalisation
How to End Poverty with Globalisation
Stephen Kinsella & Gavin Hassall - There is a greater share of unskilled workers in the labour force of developing Read more.