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Grand Opening Ceremony

The master students of the Elite Graduate Program in Quantitative Economics started the academic year of 2018/19 with the opening ceremony of the Munich Graduate School of Economics (MSGE). Prof. Pinelopi Goldberg, the international renowned economist from Yale University, held the keynote speech on the implications of international trade. Prof. Goldberg emphasized that trade affects and changes regions in varying degrees, a fact that economists should pay more attention to in their research.

Speech on the consequences of international trade

After a short musical performance by the Trio Klanglicht, the Dean of the Department of Economics Prof. Dr. Uwe Sunde, and the Speaker of the MGSE, Prof. Dr. Florian Englmaier, inaugurated the evening. Over two hundred guests from science and economy, master students as well as PhD students were excited to listen to the presentation of Prof. Dr. Pinelopi Goldberg.

Prof. Dr. Monika Schnitzer (LMU) gave an introduction to the life and work of Prof. Goldberg: After her studies in Freiburg, Prof. Goldberg went to Stanford/USA to get her PhD. Following her doctorate, she became junior professor at Princeton, and a full professor at Columbia and Yale. As the Editor-in-Chief of the American Economic Review, Prof. Goldberg is responsible for the most influential scientific journal in economics. Prof. Schnitzer highlighted that Prof. Goldberg will be appointed Chief Economist of the World Bank in November 2018 as the second woman ever. Prof. Goldberg started her speech with the provocative question of whether the opponents of globalization may not be right in criticizing free trade. Although international trade should never be considered as a zero-sum game, it is worthwhile to investigate exactly the implications. She cited present research on the different developments of regions.

While free trade is increasing prosperity, there are large regional inequalities with regard to how the wealth is distributed. Using examples of classic American industrial cities, Prof Goldberg demonstrated that economists have to do more research on the various impacts on affected regions. At the end of her speech, Prof. Goldberg made the appeal that the disproportionate distribution of wealth due to free trade become a central topic of economic research.

Discussion after the speech

After the speech, the audience was invited to ask questions. Prof. Goldberg explained that free trade is to be preferred to protectionist policies. However, economists should take greater account of social transformations and economic inequality caused by international trade.

The ceremony closed with a well-attended reception. Many guests lively discussed the keynote speech till late in the evening.

Text: Elite Graduate Program "Master in Quantitative Economics"