Collier Restates the Case for Globalization

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in at 3/16/2008 12:02:00 AM
I have just borrowed Paul Collier's rightly well-regarded book The Bottom Billion. The classic case for globalization is restated on pp. 80-1. As a student of history, I am in complete agreement with the excerpt below. When folks are prevented from trading with each other, conflicts over resources tend to arise. If you cannot trade for something that you need, then it's eminently possible that you will have to fight for it...

Between 1914 and 1945 world trade collapsed because of wars and protectionism. It is often said that globalization is inevitable, but those interwar years cast doubt on this assertion: for those who hate globalization, the retreat of trade, capital flows, and migration during the period 1914-45 should be interesting because they are kind of a natural experiment. Unfortunately, they were a ghastly experiment: the reversal of globalization, though feasible, looks massively undesirable based on the one occasion when we did it.