Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How deep is globalisation?

Pankaj Ghemawat and Steven A Altman have come out with this exhaustive report on globalisation titled "Depth Index of Globalisation 2013" which "provides up-to-date data and analysis on the depth or intensity of globalization and relates it to what we call the big shift: the rising proportion of many types of activity occurring in emerging economies. It points out that overall, globalization’s post-crisis recovery stalled last year, as a result of which the world is still less deeply interconnected today than it was in 2007. It also shows that while growth in emerging economies has slowed somewhat, the big shift continues."

The 10 take-aways from the report are:

1. Globalization’s post-crisis recovery stalled last year, leaving the world still less deeply interconnected in 2012 than it was in 2007. Macroeconomic weakness was the main culprit, but there is also evidence of increasing protectionism.

2. Foreign direct investment depth plummeted 21% in 2012 and the share of the world’s economic output traded across national borders declined modestly, but growth on the information and people pillars continued. The number of international tourist arrivals crossed the 1 billion mark for the first time.

3. Internet fragmentation has become a growing concern even as international bandwidth continues expanding. Interactions on social media, like other information flows, mostly remain domestic and regulatory impediments may curtail the potential of technological advances (e.g., cloud computing) to expand them. 

4. The big shift in the share of world output from advanced to emerging economies continued, with the latter driving most of the growth of international flows even as the largest among them, China, significantly reduced its reliance on exports and foreign investment. 

5. Emerging economies are only about one-quarter as deeply integrated into international capital and people flows and one-ninth as globalized in terms of information flows as advanced economies, but are roughly at parity with respect to international trade.

6. The big shift has already driven profound changes in the pattern of globalization, e.g., declining regionalization of merchandise exports after increases for most of the post-war era. If emerging economies tend toward advanced economies’ levels of globalization as they grow wealthier, the big shift beyond trade has only just begun.

7. Multinational firms are struggling to keep up with the big shift. While multinationals from emerging economies remain few and far between, firms from advanced economies are falling behind their new competitors. Their people, in particular, have not globalized as fast as their operations and sales targets.

8. At the regional level, Europe is still the most deeply globalized region despite recent setbacks. Sub-Saharan Africa and South & Central Asia lag the farthest behind—although South & Central Asia did experience the second biggest increase in depth of globalization in 2012, behind North America. 

9.Strengthening international flows could bolster macroeconomic recovery, with every country (and region) possessing untapped possibilities to increase its depth of globalization through domestic as well as international policies.

10. Looking ahead, the largest threat to globalization comes from policy fumbles rather than macroeconomic fundamentals, since the world economy is still projected to grow faster from 2012-2018 than over any of the past three decades.

I have earlier blogged about Pankaj Ghemawat's works here.

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