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Why are the Critics so Convinced that Globalization is Bad for the Poor?

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  • Emma Aisbett

Abstract

Proponents of globalization often conclude that its critics are ignorant or self-motivated. In doing so, they have missed a valuable opportunity to discover both how best to communicate the benefits of globalization, and how to improve on the current model of globalization. This paper examines the values, beliefs and facts that lead critics to the view that globalization is bad for the poor. We find that critics of globalization tend to be concerned about non-monetary as well as monetary dimensions of poverty, and more concerned about the total number of poor than the incidence of poverty. In regard to inequality, critics tend to refer more to changes in absolute inequality, and income polarization, rather than the inequality measures preferred by economists. It is particularly important to them that no group of poor people is made worse off by globalization. Finally, we argue that the perceived concentration of political and economic power that accompanies globalization causes many people to presume that globalization is bad for the poor, and the continued ambiguities in the empirical findings mean that this presumption can be readily supported with evidence.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11066.

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Date of creation: Jan 2005
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Publication status: published as Harrison, Ann (ed.) Globalization and Poverty (National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11066

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Cited by:
  1. Anastasia Guscina, 2006. "Effects of Globalizationon Labor's Share in National Income," IMF Working Papers 06/294, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Hess, Sebastian, 2005. "An Econometric Model of CGE Simulations," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24713, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  3. Aisbett, Emma & Harrison, Ann & Zwane, Alix, 2006. "Globalization and poverty: what is the evidence?," MPRA Paper 36595, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Ann Harrison, 2007. "Globalization and Poverty," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number harr06-1, octubre-d.
  5. Muhammad Tariq Majeed & Ronald MacDonald, 2010. "Distributional and Poverty Consequences of Globalization: A Dynamic Comparative Analysis for Developing Countries," Working Papers 2010_22, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  6. Niklas Potrafke, 2014. "The Evidence on Globalization," CESifo Working Paper Series 4708, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Bannerman, Efua, 2007. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Natural Resource Curse; what is the relationship to Economic Development, Income Inequality and Poverty? Do institutions and Good Governance matter?," MPRA Paper 18254, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Li, Kui-Wai & Pang, Iris A J & Ng, Michael C M, 2007. "Can Performance of Indigenous Factors Influence Growth and Globalization?," MPRA Paper 35299, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Li, KW & Pang, Iris A.J. & Ng, Michael C.M., 2007. "Can Performance of Indigenous Factors Influence Growth and Globalisation?"," MPRA Paper 2083, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Ann Harrison & Margaret McMillan, 2007. "On the links between globalization and poverty," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 123-134, April.

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