Arnold Kling

Solow on Globalization

Arnold Kling, Great Questions of Economics
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Nobel laureate Robert Solow makes a point about globalization.

The notion that the poor countries of the world can in any reasonable interval achieve rich-country incomes without trade and capital flows is utterly implausible. If the poor countries of the world have to depend upon themselves for the saving to finance the investment that they need, or have to develop by themselves the skills and technology they need to become rich by our standards, it's going to take forever.

However, he points out that those in poor countries who fear change may have good reason to do so.

In the United States and Europe, we've done very well in redistributing income. We're far from perfect, but we've done much better in making sure that nearly everybody profits from progress. But you could not say that about a lot of poor countries.

Discussion Question. In countries with low standards of living, do you think that it is the poor or the powerful who most resist change?

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