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Three essays on globalization of trade and structures of economic growth and (under) development: comparative analysis of advanced and emerging nations




Ganguly, Arpan, author
Braunstein, Elissa, advisor
Vasudevan, Ramaa, advisor
Tavani, Daniele, committee member
Zahran, Sammy, committee member
Stevis, Dimitris, committee member

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With the rise of neoliberal perspectives on economic policy and development in the 1980s came a new phase of globalization in the world economy. Quantitative increases in trade and financial flows, coupled with qualitative changes in corporate strategy and governance have been elemental to this process. Globalization of trade and production has integrated developed and underdeveloped regions of the world in a process of capitalist expansion and accumulation, one that has at times delivered bouts of growth in some countries, but little in terms of economic development or improvements in employment in others. This dissertation seeks to understand linkages between the globalization of trade and structures of development and under-development. Chapter 1 empirically evaluates the impact of trade and globalization on the quality of employment, particularly wage inequality by skill type and the functional distribution of income. This paper argues that rather than changes in relative prices, the link between trade and wage inequality is better explained by the mechanism of skill-intensity reversals. This is evident in trade's negative impact on less-skilled labor's skill intensity in production. Particularly for emerging nations, gains from external integration based on exploiting resource or skill-based differences in comparative advantage seems to have become transitory over time. Chapter 2 models the multifaceted impacts of trade and globalization on economic growth, using principal component analysis to differentiate among groups of countries based on how global capital interacts with domestic macroeconomic structures. This paper ties together a wide range of structuralist growth models to provide a unified narrative on regimes of globalization and growth. Chapter 3 evaluates the impact of trade globalization on economic development through its impact on structural change. This paper groups the analysis of regional differences in structural change in the development literature into three broad categories. Data on sectoral composition of value-added trade, output and employment is used to emphasize these regional dynamics, highlighting how internal and external constraints on the industrial sector lie at the heart of these challenges.


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global value chains
international development
economic growth
labor relations
globalization of trade


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