Skip to main content

Adjusting to a new world economic order


Jose Mendez
February 12, 2013

ASU’s Jose Mendez leads examination of ‘The Global Economy: Four controversial issues’

Economics professor Jose Mendez says, “It’s a staple of many cocktail party jokes that economists are never able to agree.”

He disagrees.

Mendez points to surveys that demonstrate overwhelming unanimity of opinion among economists on issues such as the effects of international trade. What disagreements there are – and they are vast, he says – exist not between economists, but between the views of economists and those of the American public.

Those disagreements mark the starting line for “The Global Economy: Four controversial issues,” Mendez’s four-part March series of discussions for the ASU Foundation’s Presidential Engagement Programs. The series runs on Fridays, from 10 a.m. to noon., March 1-22. It’s a challenging set of examinations that Mendez, who is also a professor of international trade and economic development in ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business, is eminently qualified to lead.

Mendez says he created the series to address the frequent, heated debates over trade policy carried out in the halls of government and dramatized in the media. He offers as an example the outcry that resulted in 2004 when then-chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, Gregory Mankiw, said outsourcing of jobs by U.S. companies is "probably a plus for the economy in the long run." The public response was acrimony, Mendez says, but “Mankiw was simply stating a belief widely held among economists.”

The “Four Controversial Issues” Mendez selected for his four sessions reflect the challenges global trade poses for the U.S. economy, and the reasons it inspires such vigorous debate. They include:

Outsourcing (March 1) – Mendez will outline the trend toward outsourcing U.S. jobs and its impact on employment, wages and wage inequality. He will also dispel myths about outsourcing’s extent and consequences.

Immigration (March 8) – After a brief introduction to theories used to analyze economic effects of immigration, Mendez will offer research that quantifies immigration’s impact on wages, employment and the fiscal condition of the U.S. government.

The Eurozone Crisis (March 15) – Mendez will present the views of economists on currency areas and whether such a union was advisable in the case of the European Union.

U.S. Trade Policy (March 22) – When the U.S. defines and addresses unfair trade practices by foreign suppliers, the effects are evident with any trip to the supermarket. Mendez will offer specific cases in which policies such as antitrust law determine the prices Americans pay for everything from tomatoes to beer.

Mendez says these are vital topics because, “They are avenues through which the global economy impacts us all. With each topic I want to provide an overview of the main issues and controversies, then present both the research findings and the ‘economic intuition’ that underlie the way economists view them. My objective is to provide a broad understanding of our globalized world and how our connection to that world impacts our living standards, our employment, our wages and what we produce.”

“The Global Economy: Four controversial issues” runs on consecutive Fridays, March 1–22, from 10 a.m. to noon in Global Room 201 at ASU SkySong, 1475 North Scottsdale Road, 85257. Cost for the series of four presentations is $160, and parking is free. Advance registration is required through the ASU Foundation’s Presidential Engagement Programs website at asufoundation.org/PEPglobaleconomy. For information, contact PEP Director Sally Moore at 480-965-4814, or sally.moore@asu.edu.

Erik Ketcherside, erik.k@asu.edu
Communications Manager | Editorial Services
ASU Foundation for A New American University
480-965-0545