Imagine there’s no country

Poverty, inequality, and growth in the era of globalization
PublishedSep 2002

Why read the book?

If you are interested in finding out answers to these questions –
Has globalization made the world grow faster?
Has poverty declined at a faster pace during globalization? If yes, why?
If not, is it because the growth rate was lower, or because inequality worsened, or both?
Who gained from globalization?
Was it the elite in both the developed and developing world?
What about the middle class? Who are they? How did they benefit from (or lose to) the forces of globalization?

What’s in the book?

A new era of globalization, which began in the 1980s, brought about a significant decline in costs of transportation, communication, and production; considerably improved inter-country competitiveness; and broke down trade and cultural barriers among countries. The concept of a sovereign nation has been increasingly questioned in recent years. Some, indeed, have imagined a world without boundaries, without countries. Others who doubt the benefits of globalization have called for increased protectionism and greater regulation of economic activity.

This comprehensive study firmly debunks several popular myths such as the belief that globalization has resulted in lower overall growth rates for poor countries, increasing world inequality, and stagnating poverty levels. Through rigorous, integrated methodologies and an enhanced dataset, the author, Surjit Bhalla, answers some of the most pressing policy issues confronting us today.

Praise for the book

This book challenges the conventional contention that the world in recent years has experienced both increased poverty and increased inequality, attributed by some to integration of nations into the world economy. After painstaking research and analysis, Bhalla convincingly demonstrates that both propositions are incorrect…. To back its controversial conclusions, the book relies on much technical discussion about sources, the reliability of data, and the appropriate analytical attack. But it is written in a lively style, and its significant findings are clearly highlighted and explained.

Richard N. Cooper
Foreign Affairs, January/February 2003 Issue

Bhalla rubbishes poverty estimates made by the World Bank and the Indian government to come up with dramatic findings that could shake up global development policy.

Sandipan Deb

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