Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

James DeVault, associate professor of economics and business at Lafayette, will speak on “Political Economy of Trade Preferences,” at 4:10 p.m. Monday, April 23, in the auditorium of Kirby Hall of Civil Rights.

Free and open to the public, the talk is sponsored by Lafayette’s Academic Research Committee (ARC).

“Political economy is the study of how economic policies are formulated in a political environment,” says DeVault. “An understanding of political economy is crucial for economic policymakers because the political arena constrains the set of policy options available. Political economy is also important because it can be used to analyze how political institutions shape economic policy and whether certain institutional arrangements produce sounder economic policies than others.”

The talk will use political economy to analyze the political and economic factors that shape certain international trade policy decisions involving trade preferences for imports from developing countries. “The paper presents both a theoretical and an empirical analysis of these decisions,” DeVault adds. “The goals of the paper are threefold: The first goal is to determine whether statutory factors related to the health of the domestic industry and the benefits from trade preferences are used appropriately. The second goal is to determine how the political influence wielded by domestic industries is exercised and with what degree of success. The last goal is to determine whether alternative institutional settings might produce better outcomes.”

The lecture will be the last of six ARC faculty presentations this academic year. Geared for a broad audience, the talks are less technical than a presentation that would be given at a professional meeting. Lectures last 20 to 30 minutes and are followed by a question-and-answer and discussion session. “The talk is non-technical and should be accessible to all,” notes DeVault.

DeVault earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin in 1990 and a bachelor’s degree in economics/philosophy from the University of Rhode Island in 1983. He joined the Lafayette faculty in 1989. His main areas of expertise are international trade and finance, macroeconomic theory, and environmental economics.

DeVault’s most recent article, “Congressional Dominance and the U.S. International Trade Commission,” is scheduled to for publication later this year in Public Choice. Other peer-reviewed articles have included “Offshore Assembly and the Dominican Republic,” The World Economy, November 1997; “Competitive Need Limits and the U.S. GSP,” Contemporary Economic Policy, October 1996; “U.S. Antidumping Administrative Reviews,” The International Trade Journal, summer 1996; “Political Pressure, Product Eligibility, and the U.S. GSP,” Eastern Economic Journal, winter 1996; “The Welfare Effects of U.S. Antidumping Duties,” Open Economies Review, January 1996; “The Efficacy of the U.S. Unfair Trade Laws.” Weltwirtshaftliches Archiv, December 1993; “Economics and the International Trade Commission,” Southern Economic Journal, October 1993; and “The Administration of U.S. Antidumping Duties: Some Empirical Observations,” The World Economy, March 1990.

DeVault also has contributed articles to other publications, including “Henry Morgenthau III” in Biographical Dictionary of the United States Secretaries of the Treasury, 1789-95, and “The Republic of Korea and the United States: Trade and Trade Policy Issues” in The US-Korea Economic Partnership.

He also has made professional presentations at five of the annual Western Economic Association Meetings, as well as others to the Eastern Economic Association Meetings, Southern Economic Association Meetings, and Korea-America Economic Association Meetings.

DeVault is a journal referee for Applied Economics, Eastern Economic Journal, Economica, Journal of Economic Education, Journal of Economic Integration, Review of International Economics, and Southern Economic Journal.

Categorized in: News and Features