Book Description

A new era of globalization, which began in the 1980s, brought about a significant decline in costs of transportation, communication, and production; considerably improved intercountry 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. 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?

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.

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Editorial Reviews

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.

Foreign Affairs

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, Outlook Magazine

A brilliant new book

The Times of India

Read the book ... it's stimulating.

Sunil Jain, The Sunday Express

A must read for anyone interested in these topics.

Richard N. Cooper, Boas Professor of International Economics, Harvard University




I. Received Wisdom on Poverty, Inequality, and Growth

1. Overview: New Results on Poverty, Inequality, and Growth in the Era of Globalization

2. The Pattern of Economic Growth, 1950-2000

3. Inequality as We Know It

4. Poverty as We Are Told It Is

II. Discussion of Knowledge on Poverty, Inequality, and Growth and Analysis of Data and Methodologies

5. Taking Stock of the Facts

6. Recounting Poor People

7. Surveys and National Accounts: Can a Choice Be Made?

8. Other Methodological Considerations

III. New Results on Poverty, Inequality, and Growth Based on Simple Accounting Procedure Methods

9. Poverty as It—and Forecasts for 2015

10. Reinventing the Kuznets Curve: Propoor Growth

11. Inequality as It Is

12. Globalization: A Second Look

13. Conclusion: Roads Not Taken

Appendices A-C



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