JAMES R. MARKUSEN

Professor of International Economics


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I was raised in Minneapolis and earned my BA and PhD degrees in Economics from Boston College. My first position after graduate school was in Canada at the University of Western Ontario, 1972-1990. In 1990, I moved to the University of Colorado, Boulder and did my duty as head of department 1991-1995. I am an affiliate of the NBER, CEPR, and CESifo. Normal life has been interspersed with visiting appointments in Ghana, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Japan, and China.

 

I am Distinguished Professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, though now retired from the department of economics.

My principal interests are in the field of international trade and foreign direct investment. My research for over 40 years has concentrated on the location, production, and welfare effects of large scale firms and multinational corporations. I have worked on analytical models, numerical simulation models, and empirical estimation. I am particularly associated with the development of the horizontal approach, in which multinationals = foreign affiliates replicate many of the activities of other firm establishments in order to serve local and regional markets. On the topic of firm boundaries, my approach focuses on the non-rivaled and non-excludable properties of knowledge capital. Another branch of my work analyzes non-homothetic preferences and explores the role of income elasticities in explaining empirical puzzles involving trade volumes, trade partners, skilled-wage premia, and global environmental issues.

Outside of academia, I served as a researcher and advisor during the mid 1980's for the McDonald Royal Commission in Canada, which laid the foundation for the US Canada free trade agreement. In the early 1990's, I worked with Mexican economists on the North American auto industry, attempting to estimate the effects of the (then) proposed North American free trade area (NAFTA) on the location of production and employment within North America. I also served as an advisor to the Danish Ministry of Trade and Industry on a variety of projects. The World Bank, the Brookings Institution, the Intra American Development Bank and the EU Commission are some of the other institutions that call occasionally. For fun and international travel, I have taught short courses in optimization and simulation modeling in a number of countries including Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Russia, China, and Australia.

I am married to economist and economic historian Ann Carlos, a native of Ireland. As two academic economists, we continue to enjoy many international trips together. As many of our friends know, our son Daniel died in May 2010. Our son Peter is a law enforcement officer and we are greatly proud of his service. Peter and wife Shannon are the parents of our beloved grandson Daniel. Our daughter Hilary is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. I remain an avid cyclist and enjoy rides with Hilary and Peter, scuba diving trips with Peter and Shannon, and skiing with all of them.