Conclusion: alternative capitalisms and globalization
Globalization and its impacts are now much in debate. The fundamental question can be reduced to whether globalization causes or cures poverty. Robert Wade (2001) recently attempted to answer this question by compiling evidence from a variety of major studies of changes in the global distribution of income over recent years. All of Wade’s evidence suggests rapidly increasing global inequalities (Table 14.1). It appears that a global income polarization has been occurring. Core countries, along with East Asia and urban China, have surged ahead, while most of the rest of the world has stagnated or declined. A recent UN study of the world’s poorest 49 countries similarly concludes that ‘For many LDCs external trade and finance relationships are an integral part of the poverty trap’ (UNCTAD, 2002). Our examination of the trajectory of capitalism in different world regions and economic sectors also suggests various trends towards a global bifurcation into winners and losers.