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False Prophet, or Genuine Savior? Assessing the Effects of Economic Openness on Sustainable Development, 1980 99

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  • de Soysa, Indra
  • Neumayer, Eric

Abstract

While many herald globalization the increasing interconnectedness of national economies to be associated with rising standards of living across the globe, others fear its effects on sustainability. Antiglobalization forces and environmentalists view these developments as a threat to the welfare of future generations because of profligate and excessive current consumption. This study is the first to estimate the effects of dependence on trade, foreign direct investment (FDI), and an index of economic freedom on the World Bank s measure of sustainability (the genuine savings rate), which measures the rate at which investment in the total stock of manufactured, human, and natural capital exceeds its depreciation. Contrary to pessimists fears, our indicators of economic openness show positive effects on sustainability, results that are robust to sample size, testing procedure, and several alternative specifications. The results support those who suggest that distorted economies tend to be both inefficient and damaging to future generations. If increasing trade, FDI, and economic freedom are hallmarks of globalization, then worries about its effects on future well-being are misplaced.Equal authorship. We are grateful to Erich Weede, Rick Auty, Simon Dietz, Paul Hensel, Jonathan Moses, Ragnar Torvik, Jostein Vik, Paivi Lujala, two reviewers, and the editor for comments and suggestions. The anonymous reviewers were extraordinarily constructive. Any remaining errors are entirely our fault. The data are available at http: www.svt.ntnu.no iss Indra.de.Soysa default.htm .

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal International Organization.

Volume (Year): 59 (2005)
Issue (Month): 03 (July)
Pages: 731-772

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Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:59:y:2005:i:03:p:731-772_05

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Cited by:
  1. Ruoff, Gabi, 2008. "Grow rich and clean up later? International assistance and the provision of environmental quality in low- and middle-income countries," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Zurich 2008 37, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  2. Buntaine, Mark T., 2011. "Does the Asian Development Bank Respond to Past Environmental Performance when Allocating Environmentally Risky Financing?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 336-350, March.
  3. Elissaios Papyrakis, 2013. "Environmental Performance in Socially Fragmented Countries," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 55(1), pages 119-140, May.
  4. Tausch, Arno, 2011. "The ‘four economic freedoms’ and life quality. General tendencies and some hard lessons for EU-27-Europe," MPRA Paper 33225, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Andreas Freytag & Sebastian Voll, 2013. "Institutions and savings in developing and emerging economies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 475-509, December.

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