Globalization: Who Wins, Who Loses?

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1 Globalization: Who Wins, Who Loses? Economists focus on free trade in goods, services, labor, and capital, and the institutional rules that make this possible between (rather than just internal to) countries. There are also issues of cultural homogenization (e.g., a race to the bottom of a mass consumption society). Examples of baby milk powder, McDonald s, and clean bathrooms. Larger corporations tend to be more involved in international trade, and some worry about monopoly power. However, competition between large corporations in different countries reduces monopoly power. International Trade and Finance is Important Specialization and exchange improves efficiency. International finance is just trade in asset ownership instead of goods and services. The flow of goods, services, and capital between countries favors higher returns and lower costs. As a result the forces of supply and demand tend to lead towards an equalization of prices, wages, interest rates, and policies across nations, and thus tends to lead towards increasing economic convergence. Governments of countries which engage in global competition are pressured to reduce government intervention, since markets punish countries with high taxation, excess debt, or unstable monetary policies. 1

2 Facts about Trade About a fourth of all goods and services produced in the world are exported to another country. The world s GDP was about 60 Trillion USD (in official exchange rates) in Total merchandise exports were about $12.2 Trillion, and export of commercial services totaled $3.4 Trillion. Of the merchandise traded, about 10% was agricultural, 15% was fuels or mining, and 75% was manufactures. The six largest economies, which together account for 3/5 of world output, are also the world s leading traders, accounting for 2/5 of merchandise exports and imports. Smaller economies tend to trade more as a share of their GDP, while larger economies trade more within their own borders. 3 Who Trades? The European Union accounts for over 40% of the world s merchandise exports and imports, but more than 2/3 of this trade is intra-eu. Asia accounts for 30% of exports and 26% of imports. China, Germany, and the U.S. are the largest exporters. The U.S. is by far the largest single importer, followed by Germany and China. The U.S. has the largest trade deficit. South America, Africa, the former USSR, and the Middle East all combined account for only 16% of exports and 13% of imports. In commercial services, the U.S.A. is by far the largest exporter and runs a substantial surplus. 4 2

3 Intra- and inter-regional merchandise trade, 2009 (Billions of USD) Destination North America South & Central America Europe CIS Africa Middle East Asia World Origin North America ,602 South & Central America Europe , ,016 Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Africa Middle East Asia ,846 3,575 World 2, ,197 12,178 5 Leading Trading Economies, 2009 Rank Exporters Value Share Annual Annual percentage percentage change Rank Importers Value Share change 1 Extra-EU (27) exports Extra-EU (27) imports China United States United States China Japan Japan Korea, Republic of Hong Kong, China Hong Kong, China retained imports domestic exports Canada re-exports Canada Korea, Republic of Russian Federation India Singapore Singapore domestic exports retained imports re-exports Mexico Mexico Taipei, Chinese Russian Federation Saudi Arabia Taipei, Chinese

4 World Growth: In spite of the current worldwide recession, economic growth of the past fifty-sixty years is unprecedented. For millennia, per-capita income barely grew, and population grew very slowly. After 1750, beginning in the Netherlands and then the United Kingdom, sustained growth began, at rates of about 1% per-capita, and 2% overall. After 1950, average per capita growth rates then doubled, as did population growth rates. Since 1950, world GDP has risen by a factor of 7, at an average annual rate of 3.8%. This is historically fast, though not as fast as international trade. 7 $6,000 Real Income per Person $5,000 $4,000 $3,000 $2,000 $1,000 $ Years 4

5 Summarizing the Literature International trade improves the incentive to increase productivity, to invest, and to improve your skills, all of which take time but have long-term effects. Hundreds of studies show predominantly positive and statistically significant results. The average estimated effect is that 1% higher growth in trade leads to a 0.25% increase in economic growth. Thus, a typical East Asian country with exports and imports growing at 12% per year will grow 2.5% more per year than a typical country in Sub-Saharan Africa where trade grows by 2% per year. A growth rate of 2.5% means a doubling in less than 30 years. For the United States Since WWII, average tariff rates have fallen dramatically. Foreign trade a much larger share of the economy. Trade deficits a problem as Americans spend more than they produce. International capital flows have grown dramatically, with high inflows of private foreign savings in the 1990s, and foreign central bank reserve purchases The Curse of the Dollar: Desirability as a safer investment vehicle leads to seignorage (via lower interest payments), but also overvaluation. May be past. Export growth is currently hampered by continued recession/instability in Europe and elsewhere. 5

6 20% 15% U.S. Exports and Imports Share of GDP Globalization 10% Marshall Plan End of Fixed Exchange Rates OPEC Oil Crisis Great Recession 5% 0% % -10% 6

7 The U.S.A. trades most with NAFTA, Asia as a region. The U.S.A. s largest export markets are, in order, the EU, Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, Korea, Brazil, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, and Taiwan. We import most from, in order, China, the EU, Canada, Mexico, and Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Venezuela, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and India. U.S. Merchandise Trade Region: Destination / Origin Share Of U.S. Exports Share of U.S. Imports Canada & Mexico 32% 25% Asia: 27% 39% Japan 5% 6% China 7% 20% Other Asia 15% 13% Europe 24% 20% Rest of World: 18% 16% Middle East 4% 4% Latin America 10% 7% Africa 2% 4% CIS (former USSR) 1% 2% Total 100% 100% 13 15% 10% U.S. Savings Outflows and Inflows Share of GDP % 0% U.S. Savings Abroad Foreign Private Savings in U.S. Foreign Central Bank Savings in U.S. -5% 7

8 The Dollar floated in 1973, hit peaks in 1985 and 2002, and is now near an all time low -- in real terms against other major currencies. Appreciation Depreciation Appreciation Depreciation Who wins and who loses? Overall, the world economy benefits, and most countries benefit, both rich and poor. In richer countries, blue-collar and less-skilled labor tends to lose, while skilled labor usually wins. The income gap widens. Every firm faces increased competition, some grow but others go out of business. Kofi Annan: The problem for most poor third-world countries is not that the international trading system is making them poorer. It is that they are not part of the system that is making other countries richer. But increased interdependence also makes countries susceptible to financial crises. Sometimes markets punish even the virtuous. 8

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