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Chapter 11: Cost–Benefit Analysis of Economic Globalization
11 Cost–benefit analysis of economic globalization1 Clem Tisdell 1 Introduction Wide differences of opinion exist about the costs and benefits of economic globalization. This is partly because there is disagreement about several effects of economic globalization, empirical evidence is often disputed, economic gains and costs associated with globalization are uneven between existing individuals, and also between present and future generations and between nations, and some consequences (such as reduced national ability to control economic events and changes in economic vulnerability) are difficult to quantify in monetary terms. There is lack of agreement about how interpersonal comparisons of economic benefits and costs should be made. Therefore, it is unrealistic to expect that a single monetary figure can be estimated which accurately measures the net overall benefit of economic globalization. Nevertheless, some quantitative estimates of particular features associated with globalization are available, as is illustrated in this chapter, for example, for product variety and changes in the state of the global environment. Further quantitative cost–benefit work is possible and some features for which this seems practical are identified. The approach which I take here is to identify and critically discuss factors which seem to have a significant bearing on the estimates of costs and benefits of growing globalization. These include greater scope for gains from trading, for enhanced benefits from factor movements particularly of capital, impacts on unemployment, poverty and economic inequality, implications for economic vulnerability and for the state of the environment. Growing economic globalization is assumed in this...
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