February 2015: Economic globalization

On balance, economic globalization benefits worldwide poverty reduction.

Globalization includes many things: the interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments through international trade, investment, and technology, that affects the environment, culture, political systems, economic development, and human well-being.

What exactly is economic globalization? (EG)

UC Atlas of Global Inequality has a great database of information (albeit last updated in 2008) on the “aspects of economic globalization, meaning the greater global connectedness of livelihoods, and of the production of goods and services.” They break down economic globalization into:

  • International trade
  • Foreign direct investments (FDI) and transnational ownership of production assets, which can be an “avenue for the transfer of skills and technology”


UN report Economic Globalization: Trends, Risks and Risk Prevention (Gao Shangquan) defines economic globalization as “the increasing interdependence of world economies as a result of the growing scale of cross-border trade of commodities and services, flow of international capital and wide and rapid spread of technologies.”

(this paper argues for the risks posed by economic globalization – good for the CON)


The Globalization Project by the SUNY Levin Institute has great resources on all types of globalization, and provides great background information on trade, investment, technology, and more.

So economic globalization is a vehicle of globalization that directly affects measures of poverty. 

But the other areas affected by globalization – the environment, political systems, human well-being – do those also affect poverty too?

Though economic globalization may have a narrow conception of “what” it is, there is a broad range of what and who it affects. Take the time to trace out all the impacts of EG – even if they don’t appear to affect “poverty” in the narrow sense, because you may find that your impacts are bigger than expected when you look at the big picture.

Next week I’ll post an analysis of how to measure poverty and continue this analysis.



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