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TitleBhagwati--In Defense of Globalization
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Document Text Contents
Page 2

In Defense of Globalization

Globalization has been blamed for
everything from child labor to
environmental degradation, cultural
homogenization, and a host of other ills
affecting rich and poor nations alike. Not a
day goes by without impassioned authors
and activists, whether anti- or pro-
globalization, putting their oars into these
agitated waters.

When all is said, however, we lack a
clear, coherent and comprehensive sense of
how globalization works, and how it might
be made to work better. Enter Jagdish
Bhagwati, the internationally renowned
economist, known equally for the clarity of
his arguments and the sharpness of his pen.
In this book, Bhagwati takes on
globalization's critics, using sound economic
principles and vivid examples rather than
inflamed rhetoric, to show that globalization
is in fact the most powerful force for social
good in the world today.

Bhagwati explains why the 'Gotcha'
examples are often not as they seem—that in
fact globalization often alleviates many of
the problems for which it has been blamed.
Bhagwati carefully explains the fallacies that
underlie many of the critics' arguments,
suggesting that there is a good reason why
most globalization protesters come from
rich rather than poor countries. Exploring
globalization's 'human face' in great detail,
Bhagwati demonstrates its beneficial effects
on a panoply of social issues including
poverty, child labor, women's rights,
democracy, wage and labor standards, and
the environment. He concludes that by
focusing so much on globalization's
purported evils, we are missing the
opportunity to focus on accelerating its
achievements while coping with its

Cont'd on back flap

Page 163

Environment in Peril? k 145

The fact that economic growth generally promotes democracy, as dis-
cussed in Chapter 8, is yet another way in which rising income creates a
better environment.

In all these ways, then, increasing incomes can reduce rather than
increase pollution. In fact, for several pollutants, empirical studies have
found a bell-shaped curve: pollution levels first rise with income but
then fall with it.20 The economists Gene Grossman and Alan Krueger,
who estimated the levels of different pollutants such as sulfur dioxide in
several cities worldwide, were among the first to show this, estimating
that for sulfur dioxide levels, the peak occurred in their sample at per
capita incomes of $5,000–6,000.21 Several historical examples can also be
adduced: the reduction in smog today compared to what the industrial
revolution produced in European cities in the nineteenth century, and the
reduced deforestation of United States compared to a century ago.22

The only value of these examples is in their refutation of the sim-
plistic notions that pollution will rise with income. They should not be
used to argue that growth will automatically take care of pollution re-
gardless of environmental policy. Grossman and Krueger told me that
their finding of the bell-shaped curve had led to a huge demand for
offprints of their article from anti-environmentalists who wanted to say
that “natural forces” would take care of environmental degradation and
that environmental regulation was unnecessary; the economists were
somewhat aghast at this erroneous, ideological interpretation of their
research findings. In fact, as I have emphasized, environmental activism
has stimulated new regulations that have in turn produced environment-
friendly improvements. All of this has made development and environ-
mental improvement frequent bedfellows.23

Competing with Others Who Have Lower Standards
on Domestic Pollution

If income expansion does not automatically imply that environmental
harm will rise from specific pollutants, the complaint about competi-
tion with producers in countries with lower standards is also unjusti-
fied, plausible as it appears.

It is worth stressing that the issue at stake here involves pollution
that is domestic, not global (concerning which, as with the Kyoto treaty
on global warming, wholly different issues arise; these are considered
below). To see the distinction clearly, consider that if I pollute a lake that
is entirely within India, the issue is domestic to India. But if I pollute the

Page 164


Ganges River, which flows into Bangladesh, then the problem becomes
international. If I use cars or scooters that take leaded fuel, I pollute the
air in the cities where this happens, and it is the local populations that
are hurt; but if my factories produce a lot of pollution in American cit-
ies close to the border between the United States and Canada, I can cause
acid rain across the border in Canada, producing an international prob-
lem of spillovers. If I smoke, I will hurt those around me in New York, so
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has to deal with this domestic pollution is-
sue; but if I use aerosol cans and help destroy the ozone layer, I imperil
the earth and therefore all others multilaterally.

In technical jargon, global (whether bilateral or multilateral) pollu-
tion spillovers require that they be paid for through appropriate taxes or
regulations. These policies generally call for international cooperation,
since no one jurisdiction can normally take the required action. But that
is obviously not true for domestic pollution phenomena.

You would think that the issue of what India does with her purely
domestic environmental pollution is one for the Indian democracy to
resolve. That was precisely what I argued earlier.24 This would also be
the case for the public debate in the United States on whether drilling
for oil in Alaska�s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should be permitted.
In fact, the environmental groups and the oil lobbies, with their respec-
tive allies among the NGOs and among politicians and the media, are
fighting it out over this issue. As a citizen of the United States, I weigh in
on the side of the environmentalists and am rooting for them to win.
Few Americans would, however, tolerate foreign groups, whether oil firms
or the Greens, actively intruding into the politics of this debate; there-
fore hardly any foreign lobby intrudes.

Yet, ironically, it is precisely in these domestic pollution matters that
much of the current agitation against trade�s adverse effects is centered.
In fact, the assertion is that if India chooses to adopt lower pollution tax
rates in an industry than the United States does, then the resulting com-
petition is �unfair� to American producers in that industry. If such un-
fair competition is allowed, then American industry will be destroyed.
Or else the result will be political pressures to reduce the American stan-
dards, to �save jobs,� to �level the playing field,� leading to the race to the
bottom that was discussed and discounted in the previous chapter in
regard to the possible erosion of labor standards. Either way, the out-
come would be undesirable.

In fact, a number of environmentalists have argued that such unfair
competition amounts to �social dumping� and must be countervailed
through trade protection. David Boren, who during his time in the
U.S. Senate introduced legislation to countervail the �social dumping�

Page 325

Index k 307

turtle-excluding devices (TEDs), 156, 246
“Two Cheers for Sweatshops” (Kristof and

WuDunn), 175

Uganda, 61–62
unemployment, 234, 255
unilateralism, 243–44
Union Meunière, 168
Union of Needletrades, Industrial, and Textile

Employees (UNITE), 127
unions: environmental issues, 144; in export

processing zones (EPZs), 84–86; ILO and,
176–77; immigration and, 244; labor
standards and, 122, 249; public opinion, 9;
social agendas, 34, 101, 245–46; sweatshops
and, 175–76; Trade Adjustment Assistance,
234; wage pressures and, 126; workers’
rights, 130

United Fruit Company, 168
United Kingdom. See England
United Nations Commission on Human

Rights (UNCHR), 269
United Nations Conference on Trade and

Development (UNCTAD), 230–31
United Nations Development Programme

(UNDP), 269
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and

Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 111
United Nations Environment Programme

(UNEP), 269
United Nations High Commissioner for

Refugees (UNHCR), 270
United Nations (UN). See also specific

institutions and events: Article 7, 174;
changing views on globalization, xi;
cultural issues, 107; Global Compact, 192;
Millennium Summit, 51

United States: anti-Americanism, 27; baby-
formula sales, 188; corporate taxes, 164;
cultural exports, 116–17; environmental
issues, 147; immigration, 123, 215;
insurance, 185; intellectual property issues,
182–85; Kyoto Protocol, 159;
multiculturalism, 119–20; NGOs, 39; pace
of liberalization efforts, 262; trade
sanctions, 241; workers’ rights, 130; WTO
representation, 104

United States Trade Representative (USTR),

United Way, 44
University of Maryland, 10
unskilled labor, 57, 123
Up the Down Escalator: Why Global Pessimists

Are Wrong (Leadbeater), 109
Uruguay Round on Negotiations: cultural

exceptions, 117; environmental issues, 138,
230; patent protection, 183; safety issues,
151; scientific testing, 87, 121; tariff
reductions, 231, 232

U.S. Agency for International Development, 4
U.S. Child Labor Deterrence Act (1993), 71
U.S. Congress, 241, 249
U.S. Senate, 160
U.S. State Department, 250–51

U.S. Treasury, 204–6
usury, 24

Valenti, Jack, 118, 119
Valery, Paul, 254
value-added taxation, 166
values-related issues, 153–58
Vatican, 44
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, 243
Vietnam, 32–33, 64, 71, 140, 172
Vietnam War, 169–70
Vijpayee, Atal Bihari, 251
Volcker, Paul, 205
voluntary codes, 193–94
voluntary export restrictions, 131–32
“voodoo economics,” 257

Wacziarg, Romain, 101
Wade, Robert, 206
wages and income: effects of globalization,

123–27; environmental issues, 144–45;
exploitation, 171–73; gender gap, 75–76;
income effects, 70, 144–45; income
inequality, 67; minimum incomes, 53–54;
per capita incomes, 201; social legislation,

Wall Street Journal, 93, 238
Wall Street–Treasury complex, 204–6
Wallach, Lori, 39, 44
Wallerstein, Immanuel, 21
Walzer, Michael, 25
Warhol, Andy, 107
Washington Post, 190
The Wealth of Nations (Smith), 254
welfare state, 13
Western Europe, 208. See also specific

whaling, 44–45
Whalley, John, 230–31
The Wild Ass’s Skin (Balzac), 137–38
Williamson, Jeffrey, 60, 209
Wilson, Angus, 109–10
Wilson, Harold, 58
Wolf, Martin, 11, 209
Wolfe, Alan, 22
Wolfensohn, James, 202, 205
Women of the Raj (Macmillan), 90
Women’s Edge, 78–79, 86
women’s issues, 73–91; agriculture and, 80;

anti-capitalism, 23; conditionalities, 5;
employment, 53; export processing zones
(EPZs), 83–86; gender discrimination, 59–
60, 177; gender studies, 74; global care
chains, 76–78; IMF and World Bank, 88–
89; NGO participation, 39; poverty and,
58–59; prostitution, 71, 72, 89–91; unpaid
household work, 79; violence, 81; wage gap,
75–76; WTO rulings and, 80–83, 86–88

Wong, Sauling, 77
World Bank: adjustment assistance, 235;

conditionalities, 259; criticism of
globalization, 5; criticisms of, 4; in
Ethiopia, 238; on GDP growth, 65; impact
on women, 88–89; income inequality

Page 326


World Bank (continued)
research, 67; management of globalization,
223; pace of transitions, 257; political
influences, 163; protests, 23; tariff
reductions, 232

World Economic Forum (WEF), 8, 9, 14
World Health Organization (WHO), 157, 189
World Migration Organization, 218
World Trade Organization (WTO): Appellate

Body, 86–87, 156; criticisms of, 4;
democratic deficit, 102, 104–5; described,
270; Dispute Settlement Mechanism, 46,
104–5, 121, 235–36, 246; enforcement, 246–
47; environmental issues, 137, 150–58, 158–
61; intellectual property protection (IPP),
182–85; labor standards, 248; lobbies, 82;
multinational corporations and, 15; NGOs
and, 46; pace of liberalization efforts, 261–

62; patent protection, 182–85; protests, 7,
19, 23, 29; safety issues, 151–53; sanction
enforcement, 250; Social Clause, 34, 47, 183,
245; Trade Policy Review Mechanism, 250;
unions and, 247; values-related issues, 153;
women’s issues, 80–83, 86–88

World War II, 109
World Wildlife Fund, 20
WuDunn, Sheryl, 84, 175

xenophobia, 25

Ya Basta!, 25
yakuza, 90
Yatawara, Ravi, 260
Young, Allwyn, 200

Zapatistas, 113

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