Research Program in International Trade

The Research Program in International Trade supports faculty and student research as well as teaching in international trade and investment for the George Washington University academic community. These initiatives are also part of a cooperative effort with two other GW research institutes that leverage faculty research capabilities across campus:  the GW Center for International Business Education and Research (GWU-CIBER ) and the Institute for International Economic Policy (IIEP).  The international trade group also works close with the development economics group in organizing the weekly Trade and Development Workshop.

The research program for this group includes the following topics:

  • Administration of WTO rules in the United States and in developing countries. Projects include the application of antidumping rules, the impact of trade liberalization on developing country fiscal positions, and the intersection of climate change policies and multilateral trade rules
  • Determinates and effects of foreign direct investment flows (FDI). Initiatives include understanding multinational corporations’ networks of production facilities across the globe and how differences in firm level productivity can affect the decisions of developed country multinational firms (MNC) to choose among potential host countries
  • Regionalism in international trade.  The research agenda for this area includes understanding why nations undertake trade agreements on a bilateral or regional basis rather than relying on multilateral processes.

The international trade research group also helps organize the Department of Economics’ Trade and Development Workshop, where GW faculty and students and external scholars present their latest research.


The Department of Economics offers a wide variety of courses for both graduate and undergraduates in international trade. PhD students may take a two-semester sequence in international trade, with Econ 8181 focusing on the foundations of international trade theory and Econ 8395 focusing on the latest advances in international trade and FDI theory. Masters students outside of the economics department take Econ 6283, which is a course on international trade theory and policy. Undergraduates particularly interested in trade take Econ 2181, which is part of a two-semester sequence (with Econ 2182 for international macroeconomics and finance) in international economics.

Faculty in the Research Program In International Trade