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July 25, 2007

Comments

Anon

Given the large number of bilateral agreements recently, a discussion about the motivation for and desirability of such agreements also seems worthy of some time.

robertdfeinman

This seems like a variation on the age-old discussion of whether education should be turning out "gentlemen" or technocrats.

When Greek and Latin were a big part of the curriculum part of the reason for this was to ensure that the future leaders wouldn't be tainted with any practical knowledge as was happening at trade schools.

There is no right answer, it changes from subject to subject and from period to period.

sdasdasda

Third party certification of FTA provisions or private contractual terms like whether labour laws were followed in production, whether certain environmental constraints on raw materials were followed, third party private inspectors as a way to get around unreliable and possibly corrupt government officials, and the loss of sovereignty that people who propose such arrangements rarely acknowledge. Also NGOs are missing and the loss of sovereignty that some feel are implicit in them.

Miguel Almunia

Dear Dani, the syllabus looks very appealing so far. I think it's worth taking the risk to try something new in this type of class (this is a 2nd-year MPAID writing).
My only suggestion: maybe the WTO is too important a topic to be left for the last week. Would it make sense to put it around week 8 or 9?
Regards.

Jon

Any chance your lectures and discussions will be podcast?

Peter

If I were in your shoes (which I wouldn't be, since I have very large feet), I would try to have at least one and perhaps several major case studies. The case would consist of a policy question for a particular country and review of the literature that should inform the decision. Students could be assigned to summarize and present different pieces of that literature. The case would take 1-2 weeks to thoroughly explore. The "product" might not be a decision as such, but the outlines of a research program.

brian

Hi Prof. Rodrik,

I’ve enjoyed following your blog this summer, and look forward to taking your class (it’s open to MPPs, right?). I have the impression that your class centers primarily on the economics of trade, while Prof. Lawrence covers the political and legal side in ITF-110. With that in mind, below are trade topics I’d like to learn more about:

*Overview of the contentious points of disagreement among trade economists
*The relationship between trade and migration, in theory and practice
*Economic relevance of amber/blue/green-box distinctions
*Cases of liberalization helping and hindering development
*Trade remedies and China as an NME
*Most importantly, how MPPs/MPA-IDs can be involved in trade policy. While PhD's debate the nuanced pros and cons of trade, industry lawyer-lobbyists tyrannize policy-making. Where is our role?

Hope to see you in September!

Thanks,
Brian

brian

one more thing... zeroing

Barkley  Rosser

To Peter,

You may have big feet, but Dani Rodrik has big shoes (to fill).

To Dani,

Good luck.

Per Kurowski

I hope you can manage someone putting the heat on in the heat

Higher Education needs to be more of a joint venture

Hearing so many young professionals in the USA describing their problems with debts they incurred while studying, I guess that soon some of them could be suing their Alma Maters for misrepresentation or plain failure in delivering the services offered.

Perhaps the incentive structure of the education system needs to be revised so that at least some of the higher education providers offer to collect a part of their fees through a profit participation scheme, like for instance by receiving a small percentage of the student’s future earned gross income that is above the level that the student could have been estimated to earn without further education, during his first 20 years of work.

How are then the universities going to pay for their professors now? Easy, that is what the financial markets are for. These participations in the future of our youngsters could be securitized and sold in the markets, perhaps even as a good investment for a professor’s retirement fund… of course, that is if the professor delivers on his promises.

For a university to show a willingness to invest in their own students, because they are sure of what they are giving them, might be a better marketing tool than outright grants and “we invest our money in your future” is my slogan. Also, for students, the question of what university offers to invests the most present dollars against the smallest percentage of the expected future earnings... should rank among the first when selecting an Alma Mater into which to invest their own future.

By the way this is why I am currently recommending my young friends when they take off for their MBA that they forget the apple-now and instead offer a couple of basis points on their first 10 years earnings to those teachers they feel could best advance their careers…it makes wonders!

David Lynch

I'm sure the course will be very good as usual. As you know as well as anyone, one of the advantages of being rigorous is that it keeps you honest about what you know and what you do not know. I expect many trade issues are pressing and difficult because making decisions about them involves making assumptions about things we do not know. It might help your students to ensure that they have a very clear understanding not only of what we know about trade at present, but also a very clear understanding of what we do not know. That way, when they encounter new situations, they will know when there is room to be "creative" - because the literature has little to say about something - and when there is not - because the literature has already ruled out several possiblities that might be floated as options. If trade models and their corresponding policy prescriptions are as malleable as many trade economists say they are, then it might be good to know whether (or how) to identify a given model as belonging to the "established findings" group or the "one possibility but really we can't say anything with confidence so you may need to be creative and go back to first principles when dealing with issues of this type" group.

Rupert

This looks like a fascinating course - I hope I can find room to take it - could I echo the request for a country case study? I think we would learn a lot from spending 1 or 2 weeks trying to figure out for a particular country (a) where its comparative advantage lies and (b) what interventions a policymaker could make to exploit and enhance it: tariffs, subsidies, tax incentives, etc?

Have a good summer, Rupert

Cindy

I agree with Rupert and others - a case study would really help animate in-class discussions. A small group format (2-3 people) would be ideal.

Thanks to you -- and to all our professors -- for your hard work this summer!

From Kigali, Cindy

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This looks like a fascinating course - I hope I can find room to take it - could I echo the request for a country case study? I think we would learn a lot from spending 1 or 2 weeks trying to figure out for a particular country (a) where its comparative advantage lies and (b) what interventions a policymaker could make to exploit and enhance it: tariffs, subsidies, tax incentives, etc?

Have a good summer, Rupert
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Thanks to you -- and to all our professors -- for your hard work this summer!

From Kigali, Cindy

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