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The Backlash Against Globalization: Reasons and Remedy

June 18 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

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The Seminar can also be viewed on Webex. See log in directions below.

Speaker: Aaditya Mattoo, Research Manager, Trade and Integration, World Bank.

Synopsis: The current retreat from globalization is sharpest in industrialized countries which were once its strongest proponents, providing clues to the reasons underlying the backlash.  The emergence of multinational corporations, with internationally fragmented production and ownership, has weakened the traditional link between producer interests and national trade policy.  The result has been a democratization of trade policy to favor diffuse and less-mobile consumer and labor interests, who have gained increased political influence.  The empowerment of consumers should support greater openness because they are the biggest beneficiaries from trade.  But concerns about market failure in globalized markets – from finance to information-based services – are leading to the use of protection as a means of regulatory precaution.  In industrial countries,  adjusting to trade is disproportionately hard for blue-collar workers , so their increased political influence would only lead to greater openness if they were compensated with a share of the gains from trade.  However, globalization itself makes it difficult to tax the winners – who have mobile capital and skills – and the failure of domestic redistribution is leading to trade barriers as a means of social protection.  To sustain and promote openness, the emphasis of international trade cooperation must shift away from reciprocal liberalization and towards cooperation in regulation and taxation. Since regulatory and tax harmonization may be neither feasible nor desirable, destination-based taxation and destination-specific exporting-country regulatory commitments may be an alternative.

Aaditya Mattoo is Research Manager, Trade and Integration, at the World Bank. He specializes in trade policy analysis and international trade agreements, and provides policy advice to governments.  Prior to joining the Bank in 1999, Dr. Mattoo was Economic Counsellor at the World Trade Organization.  Between 1988 and 1991, he taught economics at the University of Sussex and Churchill College, Cambridge University. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Cambridge, and an M.Phil in Economics from the University of Oxford. He has published widely in academic and other journals on trade, trade in services, development and the WTO and his work has been cited extensively, including in the Economist, Financial Times, New York Times, and Time Magazine.

Info on WebEx:
WebEx link: worldbankgroup.webex.com
Meeting number (access code): 736 562 814
Meeting password: tHx5M3pY


June 18
11:00 am - 12:30 pm


MC 6-860


Economics Thematic Group