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Business Ethics Essay

5745 words - 23 pages

15
II  B GLOBALIZATION AND TRADE
B GLOBALIZATION AND TRADE
While there is no universally agreed definition of globalization, economists typically use the term to refer to international integration in commodity, capital and labour markets (Bordo et al., 2003). Using integration in these markets as the benchmark, it is clear that globalization is not a new phenomenon. Since the mid-19th century, there have been at least two episodes of globalization (Baldwin and Martin, 1999).
The first episode began around the mid-19th century and ended with the commencement of World War I (WWI). The second episode began in the aftermath of World War II (WWII) and continues today. In both these episodes of globalization, rapid trade and output growth went together with major shifts in the relative size of the economies involved. One valuable lesson from history is that globalization has not been a smooth process. It has often been marked by periods of accelerated integration (as observed in the 19th century and in the second half of the 20th century) and by periods of dramatic reversals (as in the inter-war period) sometimes with costly consequences.
The two most recent episodes of globalization were characterized by increased integration in trade, capital f lows and movement of labour, although there are differences in the importance that each of these elements played in the two episodes (see Table 1).
1. TRENDS IN GLOBALIZATION
International trade after WWII entered a long period of record expansion with world merchandise exports rising by more than 8 per cent per annum in real terms over the 1950-73 period. Trade growth slowed thereafter under the impact of two oil price shocks, a burst of inf lation caused by monetary expansion and inadequate macroeconomic adjustment policies. In the 1990s, trade expanded again more rapidly, partly driven by innovations in the information technology (IT) sector. Despite the small contraction of trade caused by the dotcom crisis in 2001, the average expansion of world merchandise exports continued to be high - averaging 6 per cent for the 2000-07 period. For the entire 1950-2007 period, trade expanded on average by 6.2 per cent, which is much stronger than in the first wave of globalization from 1850 to 1913.1 As dollar prices expanded much faster after WWII than before WWI the nominal trade expansion of the former period is more than twice as fast as in the earlier period (9.8 per cent versus 3.8 per cent per annum).
The most dynamic traders in the 1950-73 period were the west European countries and Japan (see Chart 1). Post WWII reconstruction and the Korean War provided a major stimulus to Japanese and European exports in the early 1950s. Thereafter, European integration sustained the expansion of intra-European trade. The share of intra-west European trade in world trade rose from 18.3 per cent in 1953 to 31.2 per cent in 1973 while extra- regional trade expanded somewhat less than global
Table 1 Globalization...

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