Should We Support Free Trade and Globalization?

This lecture will examine the importance of free trade and globalization. It will begin by looking at attacks on free trade from politicians and religious leaders and, in particular, the protectionist threats that are developing in many countries. It will then examine the conditions in which free trade benefits countries and explain why protectionist interests are still so prominent in politics. The course will present an analysis of the implications of free trade for prosperity in less developed and more developed countries and will show what has happened to poverty and inequality as trade freer trade has been adopted since the early 1980s. The lecture will finish by returning to the threats to globalization and free trade that emanate from a number of sources and ask whether we are right to question the trend towards freer trade.


Recommended Readings

Douglas Irwin, Free Trade Under Fire, fifth edition, Princeton University Press.

Ryan Bourne, Economics in One Virus, Cato Institute

Daniel T. Griswold, Mad About Trade: Why Main Street America Should Embrace Globalization, Cato Institute

David Autor, “Another kick in the teeth”: a top economist on how trade with China helped elect Trump, blog post at:

Max Roser, Our World in Data Website (click on "Growth and Inequality")

Download course materials:

Course Years:



Philip Booth, Ph.D.

Professor of Finance, Public Policy, and Ethics and Director of Catholic Mission
St. Mary’s University, Twickenham