terça-feira, abril 20, 2004
The human Face of Globalization
Artigo de Jagdish Bhagwati.
Many politicians contend, while others simply concede, that the anti-globalizers are right in thinking that the social implications of economic globalization range from bad to worse.
The favoured phrase, used in particular by the ?alternative way? politicians of social democratic persuasion, is that ?globalization needs a human face? ? implying, in other words, that it lacks one.
Indeed, the prevailing orthodoxy in activist groups, even those that are more likely to participate in discussions at Davos than to agitate in the streets, is that we need ethical globalization ? since somehow economic globalization is unethical in its impact, if not its intent. But is this true?
I would argue that globalization has a human face; that, on balance, globalization advances, rather than harms, social agendas as diverse as reduction of poverty and the reduction of child labour in the poor countries, the real wages of workers in the rich countries, the pursuit of democracy worldwide, the promotion of gender equality and women?s welfare, and the quality of the environment.
[R]ecently, Arvind Panagariya has examined growth rates for almost 200 countries over a period of 38 countries from 1961 to 1999. He concludes that, when you classify countries with per capita growth rates of 3% or more as miraculous and those with rates that declined in per capita terms as disastrous, it is remarkable that virtually all countries in the former group rapidly expanded their trade as well.
And the vast majority of the ?debacle? countries with declining per capita incomes recorded declines in imports as well. But growth of per capita income, in turn, is also associated with a decline in poverty. Recent work by Xavier Sala-i-Martin, and by the Indian economist Surjit Bhalla, has undermined the conviction that economic growth worldwide has been accompanied by an increase, rather than a decline, in poverty.
Both he and Bhalla conclude, in absolute terms that poverty, as a proportion of the population, has diminished, not increased. Nor should the anti-globalizers think that experience shows that income inequality among nations, as distinct from poverty, has increased in recent decades. The World Bank, a major source of the estimates that Sala-i-Martin and Bhalla debunk, has also estimated that if you were to put all households of the world next to one another and estimate the income inequality among them, world inequality has increased.
The Bank?s conclusions have been undermined by Sala-i-Martin. He has calculated, in fact, nine different measures of global inequality and finds that, according to all of them, global inequality has declined in the past two decades.
So, the anti-globalizers have it all wrong: trade enhances growth and growth reduces poverty. It is good to know that, at least in this instance, economics and common sense go together.
posted by Miguel Noronha 7:51 da tarde
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