Jagdish Bhagwati, "In Defense of Globalization"

Author Lecture Series

Tuesday, November 30, 2004 | 12:00 AM

Bhagwati, a former adviser to the U.N. on globalization, sets out to show that "this process has a human face, but we need to make that face more agreeable." Drawing on references from history, philosophy and literature as well as some "state of the art econometric analysis," he sets out to prove that the antiglobalization movement has exaggerated claims that globalization has done little good for poor countries. For example, supported by statistics from the Asian Development Bank, he argues that in China the "aggressively outward economic policies" that characterize globalization reduced poverty from 28% of the population in 1978 to 9% in 1998. Nevertheless, Bhagwati does not advocate total laissez-faire economics and recommends that continued globalization should be "managed," prescribing policies he believes will "reinforce and ensure" its benign effects, such as taxing skilled workers who leave poor countries for jobs abroad, using nongovernmental organizations as corporate watchdogs, slowing financial liberalization and loosening intellectual property safeguards.