Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in these papers are those of the authors. They are not intended to represent the positions or opinions of the WTO or its members and are without prejudice to members' rights and obligations under the WTO. Any errors are attributable to the authors.

Trade Dialogues Lecture Series

As part of its Trade Dialogues Series, the WTO will be inviting leading technical experts to share their insights with WTO members and the broader trade community on important economic and policy developments. The initial lectures, organized by the Economic Research and Statistics Division, will focus on the latest research on trade and labour market effects.

> Invitation



There are signs that negative sentiment towards trade and globalization is on the rise. The perception that the costs of globalization exceed its benefits and that globalization raises inequality figures prominently among the reasons for this apparent change in attitude. One of the areas where there is growing interest relates to trade, technology, inequality and labour market outcomes. By bringing together the experts, policy makers and a general audience, these lectures aim to promote an informed and transparent discussion on a timely topic.


2 March 2017, 16:00 to 17:15: Room S2, WTO Headquarters


  • Professor Gaaitzen J. de Vries (University of Groningen, NL)

Topic: Offshoring, technology and job polarization

Professor de Vries will discuss the impact of offshoring and technological change on job polarization in advanced and emerging economies and, in particular, assess the relative importance of the two phenomena. He is most notably known for his influential contribution to Global Value Chains research and the World Input Output Database project. Professor de Vries lectures at the University of Groningen where he also obtained his PhD in 2009. He has been a consultant and advisor for various organisations including the United Nations, the Asian Development Bank, and the OECD. His work has been published in several influential journals such as the Journal of Economic Perspectives and Economic Policy.


31 January 2017, 14:00 to 15:15: Room S3, WTO Headquarters


  • Dr. Carl Benedikt Frey (Oxford University, UK)


Topic: Technology and the future of work

Dr. Frey will discuss the role of automation for the future of work in the context of globalisation. He is most notably known for the influential assessment that nearly half of the jobs in the United States are susceptible to automation in the next decades. He is Oxford Martin Citi Fellow at Oxford University where he directs the programme on Technology and Employment at the Oxford Martin School – regarded as the world's leading programme on the future of work. He is one of the most widely cited scholars in the field of workforce automation and industrial renewal and his work has been covered by The Economist, Financial Times, New York Times, and many others.


20 December 2016, 10:00 to 11:00: Room S2, WTO Headquarters


  • Professor Eric Verhoogen (Columbia University, New York)


Topic: Trade, the wage premium and inequality

Professor Verhoogen will make a non-technical presentation on the topic of trade, the wage premium and inequality. He has published several seminal studies in leading journals on the effect that trade has on wage inequality in the context of developing economies. He is also the Vice Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs and the Co-Director of the Center for Development Economics and Policy at Columbia University in New York City.


12 December 2016, 14.30 to 15.30: Room D, WTO Headquarters


  • Professor David Dorn (University of Zürich, Switzerland)


Topic: The role of trade and technology for labour market adjustment

Professor Dorn will give a non-technical lecture on the role of trade and technology for labour market adjustment and will put the findings of the field into context. He is the co-author of the influential study The China Shock: Learning from Labor Market Adjustment to Large Changes in Trade and a series of other papers that assess the impact of import competition from China on labour markets in the United States. His findings have been a key influence on the political debate surrounding trade in the United States and Europe.


21 November 2016, 10:00 to 12.00: Room S1, WTO Headquarters


  • Lucian Cernat (Chief Economist, DG Trade European Commission)
  • Professor Torben Andersen (Aarhus University, Denmark)


Topic : Findings on the effectiveness of trade-specific and general labour market adjustment policies

Lucien Cernat will evaluate the European Globalization Fund, a mechanism to finance trade adjustment programmes in EU member countries. With almost 20 years of experience in the trade policy field, he is in charge of economic advice on EU trade policy, influencing over 4.5 trillion euros of EU trade flows annually. He is a frequent speaker at high-level events alongside award-winning economists and his publications are quoted in leading international journals.

Professor Andersen will discuss Flexicurity, the Danish integrated strategy for enhancing flexibility and security in the labour market. He is a respected authority on the programme and has widely published on the success of the Nordic model. For numerous years, he has also been advising governments on improving their labour market adjustment policies.



Registration is required for each lecture if you do not already have WTO accreditation.  If you are interested in attending, please send an email to economicresearchandstatisticsevents@wto.org at least two days before the relevant lecture stating your name and accreditation.