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Distinguished Lecture on Economics in Government: Reflections on Managing Global Integration

By Lawrence H. Summers


On the topic of globalization and economic integration, I want to address five subjects: The first is the extent of global integration that has taken place and that lies in prospect. The second is the broad case for economic integration and why domestic and global efforts to promote that case have not been more successful. The third is the challenge to policymakers that is posed by what I have called the "economic integration trilemma" --the difficulty of combining the three goals of greater economic integration, proper public economic management, and national sovereignty in a world in which any one of these goals can conflict with the other two. Fourth, I want to reflect on some of the policy implications of increased integration in one area that has been highlighted by the crises in Asia, Russia, and elsewhere: the international capital market. Finally, I will offer some concluding observations about the special role for the United States as the world's only economic superpower in managing global integration.

DOI identifier: 10.1257/jep.13.2.3
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