Is Global Equality the Enemy of National Equality?

36 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2017

See all articles by Dani Rodrik

Dani Rodrik

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 1, 2017

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Rodrik, Dani, Is Global Equality the Enemy of National Equality? (January 1, 2017). HKS Working Paper No. RWP17-003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2910603 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2910603

Dani Rodrik (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/rodrik/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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