Winners and Losers in Globalization.

Author:Griffith, Winston H.
Position:Book review
 
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Winners and Losers in Globalization, by Guillermo de la Dehesa. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. 2006. Cloth, ISBN: 1405133621, $29.95. 235 pages.

Very few economic topics in recent times have aroused such intense passions as the economic globalization debate. Anti-globalization protesters have been descending on every major meeting of the World Bank, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 1999 demanding a halt to the globalization process, and they have added the meetings of the World Economic Forum in Davos to their itinerary. They claim, in addition to other things, that globalization is hurting the poor, destroying indigenous businesses, lowering wages and labor standards and harming the environment. Pro-globalization supporters, primarily academics, have been arguing for more not less globalization on the grounds it promotes economic growth, employment, efficiency, world convergence and economic welfare.

In his book, Winners and Losers in Globalization, Guillermo de la Dehesa states that he will "present the reader with a technical, objective and dispassionate analysis of the globalization debate, detailing its economic effects on individuals, businesses, governments and nation-states" (p. ix). Despite the claim of impartiality, the author leaves no doubt that the scales in which he evaluated the globalization debate were weighted on the descending side against the opponents of globalization. Contrary to what some ill-informed pundits may tell us, the author says, the main losers are not the "victims of globalization" but the "victims of the lack of globalization" (p. xi). Thus, he sets himself squarely in the camp of the pro-globalization supporters. He will undoubtedly argue that those Latin American countries as well as some of the more developed countries that have of late taken policies hostile to foreign direct investment are victimizing their own citizens and that the collapse of the Doha trade talks will be harmful to global economic welfare.

De la Dehesa defines globalization as "a dynamic process of liberalization, openness, and international integration across a wide range of markets, from labor to goods and from services to capital and technology" (p. 1), but as in any process of economic change there are winners and losers. He contends that low-skilled individuals in the more developed countries are the group that stands to lose most from globalization. While the demand for the services of knowledge workers is increasing, the demand for the services of low-skilled workers is falling, thus increasing the likelihood that the...

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