IDS Bulletin Vol. 30 Nos. 4

Is Globalisation All it is Cracked Up to Be?

Published on 1 October 1999

Summaries Globalisation has been associated with growing inequality within and between nations and with rising impoverishment in both the industrialised and developing world. This article argues that there is a causal link between these phenomena, one which is partly explained by the growing reserve army of labour which globalisation makes available for production. The significance of China’s insertion into the global market lies not just in the size of its potential labour force, but also in the skills which this labour force possesses. Two scenarios are discussed: a world of growing openness resulting in the bidding down of global wages (even for skilled work), and the other of rising protectionism which protects incomes in the industrialised economies.

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Kaplinsky, R. (1999) Is Globalisation All it is Cracked Up to Be?. IDS Bulletin 30(4): 106-116

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published by
Institute of Development Studies
Kaplinsky, Raphael


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