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Globalization Myths: Some Historical Reflections On Integration, Industrialization And Growth In The World Economy

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  • Paul BAIROCH
  • Richard KOZUL-WRIGHT

Abstract

It has become popular to draw a parallel between current globalization trends and the half century of international economic integration before the First World War. Indeed, some writers suggest that current trends mark a return to this earlier period, from which they draw strong conclusions about growth prospects and convergence associated with globalization. This paper assesses this historical parallel. It accepts that many features of today´s international economy are not unique. However, it is sceptical of efforts to make a direct parallel with the earlier period. In particular, the paper shows that the period before 1913 was not one of trade liberalization, nor one of reduced expectations about the role of the State, and suggests that rapid industrial growth in some economies cannot be explained by globalization pressures. More generally, a description of this earlier period of globalization as one of rapid growth and convergence is questioned, and instead associated with uneven economic development, during which a very small group of countries were able to reinforce their domestic growth efforts through links to the international economy, while for others these same links did little to alter long-term growth prospects, and in some cases even hindered them.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul BAIROCH & Richard KOZUL-WRIGHT, 1996. "Globalization Myths: Some Historical Reflections On Integration, Industrialization And Growth In The World Economy," UNCTAD Discussion Papers 113, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:unc:dispap:113
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    Cited by:

    1. Milanovic, Branko, 2003. "The Two Faces of Globalization: Against Globalization as We Know It," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 667-683, April.
    2. Toshihiro Okubo, 2006. "Trade Bloc Formation in Interwar Japan --Gravity Model Analysis-- (forthcoming in Journal of the Japanese and International Economies)," IHEID Working Papers 03-2006, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    3. Robert C. Feenstra, 1998. "Integration of Trade and Disintegration of Production in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
    4. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Trade, Social Insurance, and the Limits to Globalization," NBER Working Papers 5905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Mehdi SHAFAEDDIN, 1998. "How Did Developed Countries Industrialize? The History Of Trade And Industrial Policy: The Cases Of Great Britain And The Usa," UNCTAD Discussion Papers 139, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    6. Artis, Michael & Okubo, Toshihiro, 2009. "Globalization and business cycle transmission," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 91-99, August.
    7. Richard E. Baldwin & Philippe Martin, 1999. "Two Waves of Globalisation: Superficial Similarities, Fundamental Differences," NBER Working Papers 6904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Lányi, Kamilla, 2001. "Vázlat a globalizációnak nevezett jelenségkör értelmezéséről
      [Outline of an interpretation of the circle of phenomena known as globalization]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(6), pages 498-519.

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