Economics Research Topics

Economics Research 1This list of economics research topics is intended to provide students and researchers with more than 300 topics, explain the structure and workings of the world economy, summarize issues and debates related to economic globalization.

The topics in this list fall into six major categories: concepts and principles; models and theory; institutions and agreements; policies and instruments; analysis and tools; and sectors and special issues. Our selection of topics in the last of these categories, sectors and special issues, was based on policy relevance rather than on theoretical considerations. We have not included biographical entries, but individuals who have played a significant role in the world economy are mentioned in the relevant topical essays.

Economics Research Topics

Concepts and Principles in Economics

Concepts and Principles in International Trade

1. absolute advantage
2. anti-globalization
3. commodity chains
4. common market
5. comparative advantage
6. competitive advantage
7. customs union
8. distortions to agricultural incentives
9. fair trade
10. fragmentation
11. free trade area
12. gains from trade
13. globalization
14. intrafirm trade
15. intraindustry trade
16. migration, international
17. multilateralism
18. outsourcing/offshoring
19. parallel imports
20. regionalism
21. temporary movement of natural persons
22. terms of trade
23. trade in services
24. trade-related capacity building
25. transfer problem

Concepts and Principles in International Finance

26. assignment problem
27. asymmetric information
28. bail-ins
29. bailouts
30. balance of payments
31. balance sheet approach/effects
32. banking crisis
33. black market premium
34. bubbles
35. capital controls
36. capital flight
37. capital mobility
38. carry trade
39. common currency
40. conflicted virtue
41. contagion
42. convertibility
43. currency competition
44. currency crisis
45. debt deflation
46. deposit insurance
47. discipline
48. dominant currency
49. equilibrium exchange rate
50. euro
51. Eurocurrencies
52. exchange market pressure
53. exchange rate and foreign direct investment
54. exchange rate forecasting
55. exchange rate pass-through
56. exchange rate regimes
57. exchange rate volatility
58. exorbitant privilege
59. fear of floating
60. financial crisis
61. financial liberalization
62. financial repression
63. foreign direct investment (FDI)
64. foreign exchange intervention
65. global imbalances
66. globalization
67. hedge funds
68. hedging
69. home country bias
70. hot money and sudden stops
71. impossible trinity
72. inflation targeting
73. international financial architecture
74. international liquidity
75. international reserves
76. lender of last resort
77. liquidity trap, the
78. mercantilism
79. mergers and acquisitions
80. money supply
81. multiple currencies
82. original sin
83. peso problem
84. petrodollars, recycling of
85. real exchange rate
86. reserve currency
87. seigniorage
88. sovereign risk
89. sovereign wealth funds
90. speculation
91. spillovers
92. sterilization
93. time inconsistency problem
94. transfer pricing
95. transfer problem
96. twin deficits
97. vehicle currency

Concepts and Principles in International Production

98. commodity chains
99. footloose production
100. foreign direct investment (FDI)
101. foreign market entry
102. fragmentation
103. globalization
104. intangible assets
105. intrafirm trade
106. joint ventures
107. linkages, backward and forward
108. market access
109. mergers and acquisitions
110. multinational enterprises
111. outsourcing/offshoring
112. technology licensing
113. technology spillovers
114. transfer pricing
115. vertical versus horizontal foreign direct investment

Concepts and Principles in International Economic Development

116. brain drain
117. brain gain
118. brain waste
119. development
120. economic development
121. intellectual property rights
122. international income convergence
123. international institutional transfer
124. migration, international
125. primary products trade
126. remittances
127. technology spillovers
128. trade and economic development
129. trade-related capacity building
130. transfer pricing

Models and Theory in Economics

Models and Theory in International Trade

131. economies of scale
132. foreign direct investment under monopolistic competition
133. foreign direct investment under oligopoly
134. Heckscher-Ohlin model
135. monopolistic competition
136. New Economic Geography
137. New Trade Theory
138. nontraded goods
139. oligopoly models
140. political economy of trade policy
141. Ricardian model
142. specific-factors model

Models and Theory in International Finance

143. Balassa-Samuelson effect
144. Feldstein-Horioka puzzle
145. forward premium puzzle
146. interest parity conditions
147. J-curve effect
148. Marshall-Lerner condition
149. Mundell-Fleming model
150. New Open Economy Macroeconomics
151. optimum currency area (OCA) theory
152. primary products trade
153. quantity theory of money
154. Swan diagram
155. Triffin dilemma

Models and Theory in International Production

156. foreign direct investment: the OLI framework
157. foreign direct investment under monopolistic competition
158. foreign direct investment under oligopoly
159. internalization theory
160. knowledge-capital model of the multinational enterprise
161. location theory
162. pollution haven hypothesis
163. proximity-concentration hypothesis
164. International Economic Development
165. aid, international, and political economy
166. dependency theory
167. evolution of development thinking
168. growth in open economies, neoclassical models
169. growth in open economies, Schumpeterian models
170. infant industry argument
171. North-South trade
172. South-South trade

Institutions and Agreements in Economics

Institutions and Agreements in International Trade

173. African Caribbean Pacific–European Union partnership agreements (ACP-EU)
174. African Union
175. Agreement on Agriculture
176. Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
177. agricultural trade negotiations
178. Andean Community
179. Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
180. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
181. Basel Convention
182. Central American Common Market (CACM)
183. Central American–Dominican Republic Free Trade Area (CAFTA-DR)
184. Common Agricultural Policy
185. Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
186. Convention on Biological Diversity
187. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
188. Doha Round
189. Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
190. European Union
191. Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)
192. General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
193. General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
194. Global Environment Facility
195. Group of Seven/Eight (G7/G8)
196. Gulf Cooperation Council
197. International Labor Organization
198. Mercosur
199. multilateral environmental agreements
200. multilateral trade negotiations
201. nondiscrimination
202. North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
203. Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
204. Trade Policy Review Mechanism
205. Uruguay Round
206. World Economic Forum
207. World Intellectual Property Organization
208. World Trade Organization
209. World Trade Organization, accession to
210. World Trade Organization dispute settlement

Institutions and Agreements in International Finance

211. Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
212. Bank of Japan
213. Bonn Summit
214. Bretton Woods system
215. European Central Bank
216. European Monetary Union
217. Federal Reserve Board
218. gold standard
219. International Monetary Fund (IMF)
220. international policy coordination
221. Louvre Accord
222. Maastricht Treaty
223. Plaza Accord
224. Smithsonian Agreement

Institutions and Agreements in International Economic Development

225. Convention on Biological Diversity
226. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
227. Doha Round
228. International Labor Organization
229. Millennium Development Goals
230. nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
231. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
232. regional development banks
233. Trade Policy Review Mechanism
234. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
235. World Bank
236. World Trade Organization

Policies and Instruments in Economics

Policies and Instruments in International Trade

237. anti-dumping
238. competition policy
239. countervailing duties
240. government procurement
241. migration governance
242. nontariff measures
243. quotas
244. rules of origin
245. safeguards
246. sanctions
247. sanitary and phytosanitary measures
248. special and differential treatment
249. tariff escalation
250. tariff rate quotas
251. tariffs
252. technical barriers to trade
253. trade facilitation
254. trade-related investment measures (TRIMs)

Policies and Instruments in International Finance

255. bail-ins
256. bailouts
257. band, basket, and crawl (BBC)
258. beggar-thy-neighbor policies
259. capital controls
260. commodity-price pegging
261. common currency
262. convertibility
263. currency board arrangement (CBA)
264. currency substitution and dollarization
265. deposit insurance
266. discipline
267. dollar standard
268. dual exchange rate
269. expenditure changing and switching
270. foreign exchange intervention
271. hedging
272. inflation targeting
273. International Monetary Fund conditionality
274. International Monetary Fund surveillance
275. international reserves
276. lender of last resort
277. mercantilism
278. multiple currencies
279. special drawing rights
280. sterilization
281. Tobin tax

Policies and Instruments in International Production

282. domestic content requirements
283. foreign equity restrictions
284. intellectual property rights and foreign direct investment
285. subsidies and financial incentives to foreign direct investment
286. trade costs and foreign direct investment
287. trade-related investment measures (TRIMs)

Policies and Instruments in International Economic Development

288. aid, bilateral
289. aid, food
290. aid, humanitarian
291. aid, international
292. aid, military
293. capital accumulation in open economies
294. capital controls
295. domestic content requirements
296. export processing zones
297. export promotion
298. import substitution industrialization
299. migration governance
300. social policy in open economies
301. special and differential treatment
302. structural adjustment
303. technological progress in open economies
304. trade-related investment measures (TRIMs)
305. Washington consensus

Analysis and Tools in Economics

Analysis and Tools in International Trade

306. applied general equilibrium models
307. effective protection
308. gravity models
309. partial equilibrium models
310. revealed comparative advantage
311. tariff-cutting formulas

Analysis and Tools in International Finance

312. balance of payments
313. early warning systems
314. equilibrium exchange rate
315. exchange market pressure
316. exchange rate forecasting
317. Latin American debt crisis
318. monetary conditions index
319. monetary policy rules
320. real exchange rate

Analysis and Tools in International Production

321. agglomeration and foreign direct investment
322. appropriate technology and foreign direct investment
323. exchange rates and foreign direct investment
324. factor endowments and foreign direct investment
325. fixed costs and foreign direct investment
326. infrastructure and foreign direct investment
327. market size and foreign direct investment
328. unions and foreign direct investment

Economic Sectors and Special Issues in Economics

Sectors and Special Issues in International Trade

329. access to medicines
330. air transportation
331. agriculture
332. child labor
333. corporate governance
334. digital divide
335. electronic commerce
336. financial services
337. gender
338. illegal drugs trade
339. information and communication technology
340. labor standards
341. pharmaceuticals
342. shipping
343. smuggling
344. steel
345. textiles and clothing
346. trade and the environment
347. trade and wages

Sectors and Special Issues in International Finance

348. balance sheet approach/effects
349. capital flows to developing countries
350. carry trade
351. debt deflation
352. dollar standard
353. euro
354. Eurocurrencies
355. financial services
356. global imbalances
357. hedge funds
358. international financial architecture
359. international financial centers
360. monetary versus fiscal dominance
361. money laundering
362. offshore financial centers
363. sequencing of financial sector reforms
364. sovereign wealth funds

Sectors and Special Issues in International Production

365. foreign direct investment and exit of local firms
366. foreign direct investment and export performance
367. foreign direct investment and innovation, imitation
368. foreign direct investment and international technology transfer
369. foreign direct investment and labor markets
370. foreign direct investment and tax revenues

Sectors and Special Issues in International Economic Development

371. access to medicines
372. child labor
373. corruption
374. digital divide
375. global income inequality
376. global public goods
377. health and globalization
378. poverty, global
379. textiles and clothing
380. transition economies

Economics Research 2Economics, that collection of human activities spanning national borders, touches us all. The banking executive organizing global financial services and the poor agricultural worker cultivating an export crop are both strongly influenced by global economic forces beyond their control. The banking executive operates within a financial services protocol of the World Trade Organization and in financial markets that increase in importance with every passing year and yet remain stubbornly volatile in new and not always predictable ways. The agricultural worker sees her fortunes rise and fall with the world price of the export crop she produces and the remittances she receives from her son who works abroad in a country she will never visit. The value of these remittances changes with her country’s exchange rate, as well as with the business cycle where her son works. The banking executive and the agricultural worker do not know one another, but both are participants in what we call the world economy.

Despite the importance of the modern world economy, people around the globe face a number of challenges in their attempts to understand it. Foremost among these challenges is a tendency for the relevant published works to be either too general or too specialized to suit the needs of students in economics and the broader social sciences, public policy and public affairs, international studies, and business, as well as the large and growing number of professionals working in international economic policy. Works intended for a popular audience tend to focus on broad themes and theories, often with a political point of view. Articles in academic journals often use terminology and mathematics beyond the reach of the nonspecialist.

This list is intended to bridge the gap between the general and the specialized. It explains the structure and workings of economics and the world economy, summarizes issues and debates related to economic globalization, and provides suggestions for further reading on more than 300 topics. With a few necessary exceptions, the entries in this list abstain from the broad sweep. Instead, we have chosen topics we consider essential to a real understanding of forces at play. The thematic essays for the most part do not employ advanced mathematics or highly technical language. Their aim is to accurately educate and inform, not overwhelm.