O Intermitente<br> (So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

O Intermitente
(So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

segunda-feira, janeiro 24, 2005

The Diffusion of Prosperity and Peace by Globalization

Num artigo na Independent Review Erich Weede argumenta que o comércio livre promove a prosperidade, a paz e a Democracia.

According to Lipset (1994) or Boix and Stokes (2003), the viability of democratic regimes and the likelihood of transitions to democracy depend on the level of economic development. The more prosperous a country is, the more likely it is to become and to remain a democracy. Because this proposition has been supported strongly by cross-national studies, much better than any other conceivable determinant or prerequisite of democracy, we may argue that the promotion of democracy necessitates providing a helping hand to poor countries. This help can be provided in different ways.

First, prosperous countries influence the legal foundations for capitalism or economic policies elsewhere. How much this influence matters was demonstrated during the Cold War by the divided nations, where one part was influenced by the Soviet Union and the other part by the United States. Economies benefiting from U.S. influence, such as West Germany, South Korea, and Taiwan, did much better than East Germany, North Korea, or mainland China, which were inspired by the Soviet model. After China began to abandon socialist practices and converted to creeping capitalism in the late 1970s, it quadrupled its income per capita in two decades and almost closed a sixteen-to-one gap in income per capita with Russia (Weede 2002).The idea of advice should not be conceived too narrowly. By providing a model for emulation, successful countries implicitly provide advice to others. In general terms, the best institutional and policy advice may be summarized as "promote economic freedom" (Berggren 2003; Kasper 2004). Cross-national studies (Dollar 1992; Edwards 1998; Haan and Sierman 1998; Haan and Sturm 2002; Weede and Kämpf 2002) demonstrate that economic freedom or improvements in economic freedom increase growth rates.4 Economic openness or export orientation is part of the package of economic freedom.

Second, prosperous and democratic countries may provide open markets for exports from poor countries. Without a fairly open U.S. market, neither Japan nor the nations of western Europe would have overcome the terrible legacies of World War II as quickly as they did. Without a fairly open U.S. market, the East Asian economic miracles might never have happened. South Korea and Taiwan might still be poor and ruled by autocrats instead of being fairly prosperous and democratic.

Third, rich and democratic countries may provide FDI to poor countries. Even the nominally still communist regime in the People's Republic of China has understood the importance of FDI. Moreover, FDI not only promotes growth and prosperity, but also directly contributes to democratization (de Soysa and Oneal 1999; Burkhart and de Soysa 2002; de Soysa 2003).

Fourth, rich and democratic countries may provide economic aid. By and large, big economies, such as the United States or Japan, provide relatively much less aid than small Scandinavian economies, such as Norway or Sweden. But barriers to imports from poor countries are the lowest in the United States and the highest in Norway. Whereas European assistance to poor countries is provided by governments for the most part, U.S. private giving may be 3.5 times as large as U.S. official development assistance (Adelman 2003, 9). Rich-country subsidies to agricultural producers, which harm poor countries, are much greater than development aid. Whereas European Union aid per African person is approximately $8 dollars, subsidies per European Union cow are $913 (UNDP 2003, 155'60). The theoretical case for aid, however, has always been weak (Bauer 1981). Aid may strengthen governments and undermine free markets. This risk is much greater with government-to-government aid than with private giving, which rarely selects the state as recipient. Certainly, foreign aid does not promote democracy (Knack 2004).


The crucial question for the applicability of the capitalist peace is China. Taiwan and South Korea have recently demonstrated that Confucian civilization by itself is no permanent obstacle to democratization. In the long run, China's rise might upset the global balance of power. Historically, the rise and decline of nations have been associated with conflict and war (Organski and Kugler 1980; Gilpin 1981; Kugler and Lemke 1996), but the close FDI and trade links between China and the West, between China and the United States, even between China and Taiwan hold out some hope for "peace by trade." It is difficult to imagine better news than the eight-fold growth of Chinese exports between 1990 and 2003 (Hale and Hale 2003, 36). The strong economic-growth record of China promises that even the economic prerequisite for democratization might be achieved within two decades or so. Therefore, the outlook for a capitalist peace between China and the West is not bad in the long run. Finally, in early 2004, it becomes conceivable that "trade trumps war" (Solomon 2004) even in the delicate relationship between India and Pakistan. If so, then the capitalist peace might spread to much of Asia.

posted by Miguel Noronha 10:50 da manhã

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"A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom."

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