From Professor Maurice Obstfeld’s Keynote speech at the Italian Economic Association Annual Meeting, Palermo, Italy, October 24, 2019:

“The bi-directional connections between nationalism and globalization – with globalization arguably spurring a nationalistic domestic politics and nationalism threatening policy shifts that compromise global economic integration – justify a focus on economic nationalism (de Bolle and Zettelmeyer 2019). In principle, economic policies aiming to further purely domestic objectives can be perfectly consistent with a high degree of global economic integration and cooperation. Thus, my key questions today will concern why this “divine coincidence” seems often difficult to achieve in practice, and why, when difficulties arise, global integration can be an early victim. While my goal is to get beyond quotidian observations about the “winners and losers from trade,” however essential these are as a starting point, you will see that my reflections add up to much less than a full and rigorous account. Still, it seems useful at least to put the current disruptions in their historical context – one objective being to illustrate the continuity with past developments and thereby offer hope that public action has some scope to address the current malaise.”

Read the full address on Professor Obstfeld’s website HERE.