Stiglitz, Globalization, Technology, and Asian Development (2003)

Futures of Development

Stiglitz, Joseph E. “Globalization, Technology, and Asian Development.” Asian Development Review 20.2 (2003).  

Globalization has many dimensions, mostly familiar to many such as trade, capital, labor, and knowledge. We distinguish between short-term and long-term capital flows, and between foreign direct investment and short-term capital flows. In terms of labor, we are not only interested in the flows of labor across countries but also across education markets. But these are only the economic dimensions of globalization. There are other dimensions to globalization as well, having to do with, for instance, globalization of civil society, which has had such an important impact on so many aspects of recent events. This discussion focuses on the economic dimensions of globalization. … Because of globalization, challenges and opportunities today are greater than ever before. There are new opportunities to seize. Globalization has made the knowledge of the world much more easily available than ever before. And the Internet too has made knowledge much more available than it ever was before. The question is: Will the design of the international regime and the design of the international economic institutions and the policies that they have pursued help developing countries seize these new opportunities to reduce the disparities in knowledge, the gap between the developed or less developed countries? Or will the design of the international regime make it all the more difficult for the gap to be overcome? I fear that, in many ways, what has happened in the last few years has been making it more difficult, not easier, for the developing countries to overcome these knowledge barriers. But I remain hopeful. That was one of the reasons I wrote in my book, Globalization and its Discontents. I believe that globalization can be a very powerful force for developing countries, enabling the technology gap and the knowledge gap that separates the developed from the less developed countries to be overcome. But if that promise is to be achieved, I do think that there will have to be fundamental reforms in the institutions and in the policies governing globalization in the world today.”