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Reading Gideon Rachman’s column “Patriots vs globalists is the new battlefield”(Opinion, April 19) it occurs to me, as an economist, that nationalism vs globalisation resembles a typical decision in finance.

It is a trade-off between risk and return. Nationalists, as in economic autarky, seek to avoid the risks from problems beyond their control but at the cost of lower reward. Globalists seek high returns through trade and resourcing at lower cost but at the higher risk of shocks beyond their control. Energy is an obvious example.

Labour migration, which is more controversial, is another.

Michael Wickens
Emeritus Professor of Economics
University of York
York, North Yorkshire, UK

​Letter in response to this letter:

Grifters, gongorists — whatever next?​ / ​From Jeffrey Fessel, San Francisco, CA, US

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