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The First Globalization Debate: Crusoe vs. Gulliver

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  • Craufurd D. Goodwin

Abstract

Two of the earliest novels in English, Robinson Crusoe (1719) by Daniel Defoe and Gulliver’s Travels (1726) by Jonathan Swift, are widely perceived as an entertaining adventure story and a pioneering work of science fiction. Viewed by modern economists, however, they appear as expressions of opposing positions on the desirability of integration within a world economy. Crusoe demonstrated the gains from trade and colonization and the attendant social and political benefits. By contrast, Swift warned of complex entanglements that would arise from globalization, especially with foreign leaders who operated from theory and models rather than common sense.

Suggested Citation

  • Craufurd D. Goodwin, 2011. "The First Globalization Debate: Crusoe vs. Gulliver," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 3, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:rar:journl:0221
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    File URL: http://www.francoangeli.it/riviste/sommario.asp?idRivista=25
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Veblen, Thorstein, 1899. "The Theory of the Leisure Class," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number veblen1899.
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    Keywords

    Daniel Defoe; Jonathan Swift; Robinson Crusoe; Gulliver’s Travels; Globalization debate; International trade; Colonies;

    JEL classification:

    • B11 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Preclassical (Ancient, Medieval, Mercantilist, Physiocratic)
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration

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