Research objectives and content
-The research adresses the question of the effects of an increased openness of trade on the development and survival of economic agglomerations on the one hand and the distribution of the gains from trade among participating regions on the other
-This is achieved by applying modem research in international economics on this topic to "first globalisation" in the early modem period md its repercussions on the then most important economic regions.
-The observed effects of the historical process show that a focus on the increased quantity of trade and resulting gains from exchange does not explain the contradictory repercussions of the opening up of intercontinental trade in both regions.
-Therefore, it is especially important to study the gains from specialization, which bring about in dynamic welfare gains.
-Recent results in growth theory support this approach by pointing a the importance of spillovers of knowledge for long term growth prospects as opposed to the amount of trade.
-An emphasis on these issues shifts the focus from intercontinental trade itself to its repercussions on the intra-European trade.
- Important variables are changes in external and internal economies of scale; institutional frameworks and entrepreneurial activity. Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
-a contribution to a better understanding of the distributional effects of increased openness of trade
-an analysis of the historical development of Western European trade flows and economic agglomerations which have shaped economic relations in the EU - to help forecasting the economic repercussions of European trade policies within the EU and with non-EU countries by combining a theoretical discussion of the distribution of gains from trade with a study of the experience of Spain and England