From the Firm to Economic Integration
Chapter 5: Arguing in favor of globalization
What does globalization mean? It is in fact more or less synonymous with the traditional term, free trade, but it is more fashionable. In reality, one may consider that there is a slight nuance between both expressions: When speaking of free trade, people have in mind trade in commodities and services, whereas globalization may have a broader meaning, including free exchange not only of commodities and services, but also of factors of production, knowledge, culture, laws and rules, and so on. Globalization has been a matter of growing concern during recent years. Its growing importance can be explained by institutional factors (multilateral liberalization of exchange, economic integration) and by technological factors (the development of internet and telecommunication techniques). However, if one takes a much longer historical perspective, globalization has existed – at least over some parts of the world – for centuries.
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