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Dr Robert Read

Senior Lecturer

Lancaster University

The Management School



Tel: +44 1524 594233

Current Research

1. The growth performance of small economies encompassing:

  • The economic theory of small economies;
  • Economic policy and growth in small economies;
  • FDI and its impacts on small economies;
  • Governance and economic performance in small economies.

This research has resulted in numerous publications in leading journals and monographs (see chapters in Handbook of Small States, 2018) - often in collaboration with Professor HW Armstrong - as well as work for The World Bank and other international organisations. Linkages & Flow-On Impacts of Foreign Investment in Pacific Island Economies (with Professor N Driffiedl), FIAS (The World Bank) 2005; Binding Growth Constraints in Small Island Economies: Evidence Focusing On the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (with HW Armstrong & N Picarelli), The World Bank, 2012.

2. The political economy of international trade and the regulatory role of the World Trade Organization.

  • Trade policy and economic growth;
  • Trade negotiation;
  • Trade disputes and dispute settlement;
  • Process and prodiction methods (PPMs) in international trade;
  • The EU-US banana and steel trade disputes.

This research has resulted in numerous publications in journals and monographs, including: Trade Liberalisation & Competition & The World Trade Organization (edited with Chris Milner), Cheltenham,e: Edward Elgar, 2002; The WTO & the Regulation of International Trade: Recent Trade Disputes Between the EU & US (edited with Nick Perdikis) Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2005. 

3. Foreign direct investment (FDI) and the multinational enterprise (MNE).

  • The determinants of foreign direct investment (FDI), with particualr reference to size of economy and governance.
  • The strategies and structures of multinational enterprises (MNEs), including trends in 'the global factory';
  • The impacts of FDI on host-countries, including direct and indirect linkage effects.

This research as been published widely in journals and monographs, notably chapters in International Business, edited by P.J. Buckley, P. Enderwick & A.R. Cross, Oxford UP 2018; Multinationals & World Trade: Vertical Integration & the Division of Labour in World Industries, edited by M.C. Casson et al., 1986; and The Growth of International Business, edited by M.C. Casson, 1983.

Research Grants

These include:

Leverhume Trust, The Determinants of Intermediate Product Trade in Global Industries, 1982-1983.

UK ODA (now DfID)/ACP, The Effects of the Second Enlargement of The EEC On the Exports of the African, Caribbean & Pacific States, 1983-86.

UK ODA (now DfID), The Economic Performance of Micro-States, 1995-96.

The Commonwealth Secretariat, Special & Differential Treatment for the Least Developed Countries, 2000.

The World Trade Organization, The Characteristics, Vulnerability & Growth Performance of Small Economies, 2000.

United Nations World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER), Growth Economic Development & Structural Transition in Small Vulnerable States, 2001.

University of Lancaster Small Grants Scheme, Bridging the Digital Divide: e-Commerce & Economic Growth in Small Developing States, 2003.

Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS) - World Bank/International Finance Corporation, Linkages & Flow-On Impacts of Foreign Direct Investment in Pacific Island Economies, 2003-2004.

United Nations World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER), Foreign Direct Investment in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), 2006

International Centre for Trade & Sustainable Development (ICTSD), Trade, Economic Vulnerablility, Resilience & the Implications of Climate Change for Small Island & Littoral Developing Economies, 2009-2010.

The World Bank, Binding Growth Constraints in Small Island Economies: Evidence Focusing On the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, 2011-2012.

The European Parliament, EU Island Farming & the Labelling of its Products, 2012-2013.

Research Interests

1. The economic performance and growth strategies of small states. I am a leading international scholar and researcher in this area undertaking wide-ranging theoretical and empirical research on the determinants of growth, sectoral specialisation and development strategies of small states in the global economy. 

2. International political economy, with particular reference to the role of World Trade Organization (WTO) in regulating international trade. 

3. The determinant and impacts of FDI and the strategy and structrues of MNEs.

4. Growth in emerging economies, with particular reference to East Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.



ESRC doctoral student, Department of Economics, University of Reading

Leverhume Research Fellow, Department of Economics, University of Reading 1983-84.

Lecturer (part-time), Department of Economics, University of Reading 1984-85.

ODA Research Fellow, Department of Economics, University of Reading 1984-86.

Economist, Unilever plc, London 1986-89.

Lecturer & Senior Lecturer in International Economics, Department of Economics, University of Lancaster 1989-

Professional Role

Director of the MSc in International Business, 2005-2013.

Deputy Director of the Economics Department PhD Programme, 2006-2013.


BA Economics, University of Essex, PhD Economics, University of Reading

Current Teaching

Undergraduate: Econ 224, Introduction to Economics for Managers; Econ 332 Growth & Development, Econ 334 International Business & Finance.

Postgraduate: ENSI 571 The Firm in the Global Economy.

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