The Economic Consequences of Globalisation in the United States
The unprecedented rise in global interdependence since World War II, especially since the 1970s, has been very productive. World gross domestic product (GDP) growth increased from around 2% per year in the 1970s to 4% per year before the global financial crisis. Globalisation helped to lift a billion people from extreme poverty and improved the lives of billions more. The United States also gained an estimated 11%–19% of its annual GDP. Yet many Americans are concerned about the fairness of these gains. We review evidence of increasing wage inequality and stubborn unemployment effects, even though, on balance, technological change has had a much greater impact on these outcomes than globalisation. Barriers against globalisation do not offer solutions to inequality – they reduce the size of the economic pie without necessarily improving its distribution. Policies should focus on redistributing gains from growth, increasing the productivity of all workers, and helping affected communities adapt socially and economically to rapid change.