Fact Attack on Globalization

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Scientific American has overview article on ‘Does Globalization Help or Hurt the World's Poor’ by Pranab Bardhan. Some statistics from the article are summarized below.

- Between 1980 and 2000, trade in goods and services expanded from 23 to 46 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in China and from 19 to 30 percent in India.

- Between 1981 and 2001 the percentage of rural people living on less than $1 a day decreased from 79 to 27 percent in China, 63 to 42 percent in India, and 55 to 11 percent in Indonesia.

- Of the more than 400 million Chinese lifted above the international poverty line between 1981 and 2001, three fourths got there by 1987.

- Between 1981 and 2001 the fraction of Africans living below the international poverty line increased from 42 to 47 percent.

- A recent study by Gordon H. Hanson of the University of California, San Diego, which took into account only people born in a particular region (thus leaving out migrants), found that during the 1990s average incomes in the Mexican states most affected by globalization increased 10 percent more than those least affected.

- In 2001 Naila Kabeer of the University of Sussex in England and Simeen Mahmud of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies did a survey of 1,322 women workers in Dhaka. They discovered that the average monthly income of workers in garment-export factories was 86 percent above that of other wage workers living in the same slum neighborhoods.

- In 1993, anticipating a U.S. ban on imports of products made using child labor, the garment industry in Bangladesh dismissed an estimated 50,000 children. Wages and conditions in garment factories are poor by world standards but better than those in alternative occupations such as domestic service or street prostitution.

- South Korea and the Philippines had similar per capita incomes in the early 1960s, but the Philippines languished in terms of political and economic institutions (especially because power and wealth were concentrated in a few hands), so it remains a developing country, while South Korea has joined the ranks of the developed.

- The international coffee market, for example, is dominated by four companies. In the early 1990s the coffee earnings of exporting countries were about $12 billion, and retail sales were $30 billion. By 2002 retail sales had more than doubled, yet coffee-producing countries received about half their earnings of a decade earlier.

- The Asian financial crisis of 1997 –following speculators' run on the Thai currency, the baht, the poverty rate in rural Thailand jumped 50 percent in just one year. In Indonesia, a mass withdrawal of short-term capital caused real wages in manufacturing to drop 44 percent.

- The annual loss to developing countries as a group from agricultural tariffs and subsidies in rich countries is estimated to be $45 billion; their annual loss from trade barriers on textile and clothing is estimated to be $24 billion. The toll exceeds rich countries' foreign aid to poor countries.

- Globalization does not explain the differing fates of Botswana and Angola, both diamond exporters, one democratic, the other ravaged by civil war.

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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on April 30, 2006 12:59 AM.

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