Economic globalization has developed alongside the growth of transnational trade. As different countries have different interests and with ever-changing power relations, negotiation and cooperation are essential. Directing critical decision-making towards mutually beneficial agreements is international economic policy. In the meantime, understanding these agreements can help public, private, and nonprofit organizations—in disciplines ranging from business and public services to public health and development—to leverage them to their advantage.
If you are considering an international career with an interest in politics, political science, and international affairs, studying international economic policy can help you gain the edge. Here’s a more in-depth look at why you should pursue a degree in international economic policy, as well as an interdisciplinary program to prepare you for an exciting career in this field.
What is international economic policy?
According to the book International economy: global markets and international competitioninternational economics “describes and predicts production, trade and investment between countries”.
the field includes many subjects, including international exchange rates and money flows; free trade and trade disputes; immigration and migration; maritime regulations, costs and their role in trade flows; and the variation in tax regimes between structures and their influence on business decisions. Meanwhile, factors such as improved long-distance transportation, advances in telecommunications, scientific and technological development, and the shift to information as capital supporting and accelerating the growth rate create an ever-changing landscape. .
International economic policy studies provide a policy-oriented perspective on these and other current and emerging issues. Although “international economic policy” may seem dry, it is a particularly complex, dynamic and challenging area of economics. From outsourcing to the Chinese exchange rate, the topics addressed by international economic policy have practical and palpable effects on society.
An example of international economic policy drawn directly from current events is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been a major impediment to global economic growth. International economists and policy experts are working to counter this threat and stimulate growth by all means, from digital trade agreements for supply chain reforms.
A more historical example can be found in the Great Depression of the 1930s, which according to experts, was caused in part by events in the United States and the country’s financial policies. “The key factor that turned national economic difficulties into a global depression appears to have been a lack of international coordination as most governments and financial institutions turned inward,” suggests the Department’s Office of Historian. of American state.
According to foreign affairs columnist and TIME editor Ian Bremmer, meanwhile, we are heading for a global depression with unprecedented economic repercussions. He says: “From a practical perspective, governments could do more to coordinate virus containment plans. But they could also prepare for the need to help the poorest and hardest-hit countries avoid the worst of the virus and economic contraction by investing the money needed to keep those countries on their feet. International economic policy could help inform and guide these decisions in such an uncertain environment.
The better we understand international economics and economic policy, the better prepared we will be to overcome the obstacles ahead. For students wishing to gain a comprehensive understanding of these areas, the Master of Arts Program in International Economic Policy (MIEP) at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, one of the world’s top schools for international affairs in the heart of Washington, DC, is a great way to do that.
With core courses in international business, international macroeconomics, development economics and statistics, the MIEP also allows students to choose better sequences of accounting and business finance or two semesters of econometrics in its designated STEM track. The program offers a carefully designed combination of essential critical knowledge and technical skills necessary for today’s competitive job market, the program offers flexible late afternoon and evening classes aimed at adapting to busy schedules of today’s professionals and students.
MIEP graduates go on to many exciting careers in public service, business, management consulting, development, and other international work. Recent placements have included the World Bank Group, Brookings Institute, Bank of China, Capital One, United States International Trade Commission, United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, International Monetary Fund, Booz Allen Hamilton and IBM. The Elliott School Graduate Student Career Development Center also offers students and alumni a comprehensive range of resources aimed at preparing them for success in the workforce.
Another defining feature of the MIEP is its affiliation with the Institute for International Economic Policy (IIEP). This nonpartisan think tank focuses on stimulating high-quality, multidisciplinary research on policy issues related to economic globalization. MIEP students have the opportunity to contribute to research projects in collaboration with IIEP researchers and participate in IIEP events.
As part of its mission to educate the next generation of international leaders, the Elliott School also hosts numerous events, including a recent data conference and the high-level panel, “Policymaking in a World of Greater Uncertainty.”
Elliott School alumnus Lateefah Ferguson says, “The Elliott School offers the best opportunities in terms of programs, in terms of networking. Many classes are concentrated at night, giving people the opportunity to intern and work during the day. »
Krista Barry, a current student at MIEP, adds: “One of the main reasons I chose MIEP was its flexibility. The program director does a great job of making sure you take the courses you want, and it will be helpful to use these different courses to sort of build that comprehensive degree in international business.
“Econ is such an important combination for any kind of public policy you want to put into practice. Whether it’s development or security, economics degrees set you apart from other applicants,” Barry continues.
Indeed, there are no better advocates to speak about the impact of MIEP than its students and graduates. For even more ideas from members of the MIEP community, check out blogs written by students from Ethiopia, Italyand Indonesia.
Perhaps Ferguson sums it up best when summarizing the importance of international economic policy. “Obviously, we live in a global economy. Everything we do here is linked in one way or another to another economy. You can’t change anything if you don’t know it exists, can you? Once you know what is happening in the world, how our economy affects another economy and vice versa, then you can make informed decisions,” she says.
If you’re interested not just in being part of that decision-making, but in helping to lead it, International Economic Policy Studies – and GW’s MIEP – can help position you for success.
Article written in collaboration with George Washington University.