Decisions relating to economic policy affect all of our lives on a daily basis. None of us remain untouched from changes to levels of taxation, interest rates, and the relative distribution of government budgets. Much as we might like to stick our head in the sand whenever the Chancellor announces reviews of fiscal policy, at some level we will be affected, whether it be due to a change to national insurance contributions for small businesses, or in the increased price of the pint of beer that we drink to console ourselves afterwards.
In an increasingly globalised economic environment, national economic policy decisions are rarely considered in isolation to global economic policy decisions.
Multinational companies operate from bases in multiple countries; organisations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund provide assistance across international boundaries; labour markets, the movement of goods and services and, the spread of information, know few borders.
Despite recent referendum and election results in the UK and in the United States, which appear to suggest a popular backlash against globalisation, the demand for international trade is more powerful than ever.
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The module provides an overview of the history, theory and method of economic policy and policy design; an examination of core economic policy issues in the contemporary global economy, including issues surrounding the environment and social inequality; and concludes with an analysis of the dynamics governing the global economy.
Dr Ioana Negru
Dr Ioana Negru is the co-convenor of the Global Economic Policy module alongside Dr Ourania Dimakou. Dr Negru describes the specific relevance of the course in relation to recent economic upheavals in Europe, relating to factors such as Brexit and the financial crisis in Greece:
“The course covers two sessions on The European Union, including history, origins, institutions and budget, with a special session on European secular stagnation and the current Euro-crisis.”
“We look at potential solutions and future scenarios regarding Europe.”
The Environment and Economic Inequality
Dr Negru also looks at global economic policy in relation to the environment and issues surrounding economic and social inequality:
“We examine green policies and policies surrounding sustainable development, and argue that mainstream economics is not well equipped to answer important questions regarding saving the environment. The last topic to be discussed on the course is inequality, and we will discuss indicators that economists use to measure inequality such as Kuznets hypothesis, Gini coefficient, Lorenz curve, and the Palma ratio.”
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