Roberto Bonfatti



(Thursday, 19th May 2011)

Title : International trade and the shaping of national and international political institutions

A recent literature in trade and political economy has looked at how international trade shapes the economic incentives of those involved in modifying/preserving existing political institutions. Because trade simultaneously affects the economic incentives of residents of dif ferent countries, this literature is naturally positioned to explore the interaction of domestic and foreign players in the shaping of domestic institutions, as well as the economic determinants of international political institutions (such as the size of nations or of colonial empires) and the occurrence of war between nations. The aim of this workshop is to review this literature, and to suggest a few possible directions for future research. References [1] and [2] are recommended readings.


[1] A. Alesina, E. Spolaore, and R. Wacziarg, Economic integration and political disintegration, American Economic Review, 90 (2000), pp. 1276{1296.

[2] R. Bonfatti, Decolonization: the role of changing world factor endowments, mimeo, (2010).

[3] ______, An economic theory of foreign interventions and regime change, mimeo, (2011).

[4] P. Martin, T. Mayer, and M. Thoenig, Make trade not war?, Review of Economic Studies, 75 (2008), pp. 865-900.

5] ______, The geography of conflict and free trade agreements, mimeo, (2010).