Is Global Equality the Enemy of National Equality?
Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP11812
The bulk of global inequality is accounted for by income differences across countries rather than within countries. Expanding trade with China has aggravated inequality in some advanced economies, while ameliorating global inequality. But the 'China shock' is receding and other low-income countries are unlikely to replicate China's export-oriented industrialization experience. Relaxing restrictions on cross-border labor mobility might have an even stronger positive effect on global inequality. However it also raises a similar tension. While there would likely be adverse effects on low-skill workers in the advanced economies, international labor mobility has some advantages compared to further liberalizing international trade in goods. I argue that none of the contending perspectives -- national-egalitarian, cosmopolitan, utilitarian -- provides on its own an adequate frame for evaluating the consequences.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 38
Date posted: January 30, 2017