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Political Economy and International Trade

Theoretical and empirical research by this group has focused on political economy, international trade as well as related topics in development economics.

Research on International trade and Development Economics has a long tradition in the Department with the work of Professors Balasubramanyam and Macbean. They have published widely on trade policy, foreign direct investment, technology transfer, and India and China’s economic policies and performance. More recently, research projects in this area have focused on (the political economy of) trade policies with reference to the regulatory role of the World Trade Organization and trade theories with elements of economic geography. Theoretical work on political economy has analysed issues related to fiscal federalism and the interplay between voting behaviour and public finance decisions, as well as investigations of how institutions shape individuals' and parties' strategies in different political contexts. On the boundary between political economy and development economics, members of this group also conduct research on the causes and consequences of conflicts and migration in developing countries and the role of political institutions in international conflicts.

Members of the group have published in leading general and field journals such as American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Journal of Political Science, Canadian Journal of Economics, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Economic Journal, European Economic Review, Journal of Economic Geography, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Journal of the European Economics Association, Journal of International Economics, Journal of Public Economics, Public Choice, and World Development. They have also authored and edited several books, and secured funding for their research activities from multiple sources and have served as consultants to many international institutions (e.g. African Development Bank, FAO, OECD, World Bank).

After hosting two workshops in 2015 and 2016 members of the group are among the founding members of the UK wide network called PoleconUK.

Potential PhD topics

The group would particularly welcome applications from well-qualified candidates interested in pursuing PhD study in any of the following areas: FDI in India’s retail sector, the impact of diaspora and FDI on economic development in India, a comparative analysis of FDI into African countries, empirical analysis on the causes and consequences of conflict, Evaluation of transport infrastructure for economic development, an analysis of electoral systems and voting behavior, an analysis of antidumping policies in developing countries, empirical analysis of political economy of trade policies.


Image Ingrid Taylar | CC BY-2.0