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the structure of the world economy

Indeed, many use the results of recent empirical work on global income inequality to suggest that changes associated with economic “globalization” are creating a world order in which a country’s role in the structure of the of the world economy no longer matters for economic development. Robert Wade (2004) paraphrases this contention as “…country mobility up the income/wealth hierarchy is [no longer] constrained by the structure” (567). An extremely popular and influential version of this perspective argues that there globalization “flattens out” the world and leads to economic dynamism everywhere, and particularly in the poorest regions (Friedman 2005). In short, globalization leads to rapid economic development in the periphery, resulting in worldwide convergence in per capita output and incomes during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

With respect to empirical expectations regarding the association between position in the IDL and economic growth, the “enhanced welfare” view presents a simple null hypothesis: if the structure of the international division of labor is simply “differentiated” rather than hierarchically organized, we would expect that cross-national variation in structural location should not be a significant predictor of economic growth. On the other hand, the world-systems perspective offers two distinct hypotheses corresponding to different phases in the cycles of world-economic expansion and contraction. The first is a linear hypothesis—the core grows faster than the semiperiphery and the periphery, and the semiperiphery grows faster than the periphery. In sum, there are three competing claims made the relationship between the IDL and development. The first contrasts the “enhanced welfare” view with the “hierarchy view,” where the former argues that all roles in the IDL are conducive to growth and the latter argues that only “core-like” positions are.


Date: 2015-04-20; view: 641

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