Application Details

Research Hub Question: Can Globalisation Benefit All?

Research Hub Leader: Prof Stephen Kinsella

Application Deadline: 1st August 2018

Submit Application to: Richard Arnold (


Criteria for Research Funding

The Globalisation Hub of Rebuilding Macroeconomics (RM) is looking to fund pilot research projects that address the over-arching question of ‘Can Globalisation Benefit All?’

In a workshop held in May 2018, we discussed the changing role of the major institutions of globalisation in a multi-polar world. We brought together a diverse group of academics and policymakers to approach this topic through different scholarly lenses. A background note, summary and presentation videos from the workshop are all available here. This meeting helped to frame the first set of pilot research projects that we are looking to support.

Macroeconomic models often introduce an overseas sector by differentiating between currencies, assuming barriers to the cross-border movement of goods and services (non-traded) and labour and perhaps capital flows and even different commercial policy choices such as tariffs. These are essentially transaction costs and so in most cases, removing such barriers leads to higher social welfare. This has provided some justification for the presumption that ever greater economic integration, or ‘hyper-globalisation’ over the last three decades, implies higher standards of living.

However, this approach ignores the fact that most of these boundaries or constraints are in fact policy choices. It ignores the reasons, or motivations, for why they even exist in the first place. Only when one considers that they are a policy choice can there be any benefit to stopping short of full economic integration. We would like to consider what these motivations may be, why do limits to complete integration emerge and what might be the policy trade-offs involved. This may include what anxieties emerge from integration and what might be an appropriate compensation to enable support for greater integration.

Some control over economic activity is necessarily coordinated at international fora. Yet many controls on activity, such a taxation, regulation and even monetary and financial policy have, most of the time, been the domain of the nation-state. Economic integration blurs these distinctions. Moreover, nation-states differ enormously in size and power their ability to influence the international agenda. This suggests a richer analysis to capture some of the rationale and realities of globalisation.

We are looking for research proposals which look at the motivations for policy frameworks which retain control at the nation-state and which are shared on a global basis. We are looking for research which asks why limits to globalisation emerge, and where these limits are placed upon societies, what their effects are. This research can be historical in its focus, but must directly inform the world we live in today.

Rebuilding Macroeconomics globalisation

29 June 2018