Political economists have spent decades, if not centuries, studying trade's long-run impact on economic growth and development. But as for trade's impact on long-run political growth and development, here the state of our knowledge lags far behind. His talk at SAIS Europe Bologna will try to rectify this imbalance. The problem with trade is that it creates inequality, or so a great many critics have argued, and unequal societies are difficult to govern. But the type of inequality that has received the most attention to date—the kind of inequality that shows up in national Gini statistics—is not incompatible with effective government. His analysis suggests we should spend less time worrying about generic inequality and more time worrying about (and finding creative solutions for) spatial inequality. The talk will explain why spatial divides are what really matter for politics, and why globalization may be contributing to this larger spatial-inequality syndrome.
Lloyd Gruber is Dean of the Institute of Public Affairs at the The London School of Economics and Political Science.
He is the author of Ruling the World: Power Politics and the Rise of Supranational Institutions. He has been an associate professor at the University of Chicago's Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies as well as a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution.
His research interests include globalization, inequality, and redistribution; power and institutions; international and comparative political economy; trade's impact on spatial disparities in economic and political development; regional integration and foreign economic policy; and public policy analysis.