torsdag 12 november 2009

The compensatory logic of liberalization

Jonas Pontusson kommenterar och utvidgar i en artikel som kommer att publiceras i ett kommande nummer av Fronesis statsvetaren Peter Katzensteins gamla tes (Small States in World Markets, 1985) i jämförande politisk ekonomi att små korporativistiska europeiska stater kombinerat och kombinerar stor ekonomisk öppenhet för globaliseringen med starka välfärdssystem, och att de två hänger ihop. Pontusson kallar tesen där för "the compensatory logic of liberalization". (Dani Rodrik gör inflytelserikt samma poäng i sin Has Globalization Gone Too Far? från 1997.)

Jag sitter nu och kollar på nationalekonomiska artiklar om globalisering och välfärd och slås av hur eniga de vänsterliberala nationalekonomerna - Krugman, Rodrik, t om JK Galbraith, osv -i sitt förespråkande av just en sådan policykombination: frihandel, och så kompensera frihandelns förlorare med bättre välfärdssystem och omställningssystem för att få uppsagda så snabbt som möjligt till ett nytt jobb. En Kaldor-Hicks-förbättring, helt enkelt.


Paul Krugman, "Divided over trade", New York Times 14 maj 2007
"Fears that low-wage competition is driving down U.S. wages have a real basis in both theory and fact. When we import labor-intensive manufactured goods from the third world instead of making them here, the result is reduced demand for less-educated American workers, which leads in turn to lower wages for these workers. And no, cheap consumer goods at Wal-Mart aren’t adequate compensation.
So imports from the third world, although they make the United States as a whole richer, make tens of millions of Americans poorer. How much poorer? In the mid-1990s a number of economists, myself included, crunched the numbers and concluded that the depressing effects of imports on the wages of less-educated Americans were modest, not more than a few percent.
But that may have changed. We’re buying a lot more from third-world countries today than we did a dozen years ago, and the largest increases have come in imports from Mexico, where wages are only about 11 percent of the U.S. level, and China, where wages are only 3 percent of the U.S. level. Trade still isn’t the main source of rising economic inequality, but it’s a bigger factor than it was.
So there is a dark side to globalization. The question, however, is what to do about it.
if Democrats really want to help American workers, they’ll have to do it with a pro-labor policy that relies on better tools than trade policy. Universal health care, paid for by taxing the economy’s winners, would be a good place to start."
Dani Rodrik, "Krugman and the trade populists"
"The point that trade policy cannot substitute for an adequate social policy is perfectly sensible. So is the argument that the need for social policy becomes greater when globalization exerts downward pressure on wages and creates new risks and anxieties. As a large and venerable literature has shown, countries that trade more have larger social programs and more generous safety nets."
Krugman, "Winners and losers from trade"
"Many people think that Economics 101 says that trade is good for everyone. Alas, it isn't so. Way back in 1941 Paul Samuelson and Wolfgang Stolper pointed out that even the most conventional economic analysis suggests that some group within a country - and possibly a large group - actually loses from trade. It's even in Wikipedia."
Etienne Wasmer & Jakob von Weizsacker, "Helping the free trade losers", Project Syndicate 15 maj 2007
Danny Leipziger & Michael Spence, "Globalisation's losers need support", Financial Times 14 maj 2007
"The modern globalisation debate deals with many important issues... None is more important, however, than who benefits and who loses, absolutely and relatively, in both advanced and developing countries.
Sustained high growth is expanding in the developing world ... and is made possible by the ... growing integration of the global economy. So there is a lot at stake. Income inequality often rises in the growth process, however, and domestic policy is needed to mitigate the negative impacts on those who lose.
In China, the bottom 10 per cent of the income distribution has seen its income rise by 42 per cent in the past 10 years. The middle has grown by 115 per cent and the top 10 per cent by 168 per cent. ... Everyone has benefited but not equally. Similar patterns can be seen in other rapidly growing countries such as India.
A slightly different but related income distribution phenomenon can be seen in the US. In the past 20 years, productivity and real incomes have risen in the US, but the middle of the distribution has gained less than the lower tail and especially the upper tail. The middle grew at 0.4 per cent annually while the upper end grew at 1.25 per cent; small numbers that add up to large changes over a decade or two.
In the case of the US and other advanced economies, not all of this is due to globalisation. There is a shift in the industrial mix ... enabled by the global economy. But there are other drivers. Tax policy is one. Information technology is another. Some aspects of IT are labour saving – a domestic phenomenon that has little to do with outsourcing..., but which hurts some wage earners. A more recent phenomenon is ... services, where labour can be supplied without geographic proximity...
In developing and advanced countries there are growing protectionist voices. They must be controlled because the cost of disengaging..., especially among the poorer countries of the world, is simply too high. It is far better policy to capture the benefits of global markets and to look for domestic policies that reduce the costs in these distributional dimensions...
If we are to continue to have a highly efficient, flexible and innovative economy, there will be creative destruction and churn. That kind of dynamism needs to be underpinned by two legs: programmes that help individuals make employment transitions, and solid safety nets and assured access to basic services such as education and healthcare.
This access must not vary with the ebb and flow of economic activity and personal circumstances. To have an open economy we may need a more protective one than we have had in the recent past. It is a trade-off. The art in policy-making is to design these protections with minimal adverse impacts on mobility and efficiency, the underpinning of the job-creation engine. ...
We need to accommodate a rapidly changing economic mix as a result of technology and global market forces and to balance that with policies that make the growth and distribution of the benefits inclusive."
James K. Galbraith, "Why Populists Need to Re-Think Trade", The American Prospect 10 maj 2007
J. Brad Delong, "Puzzles in the Economics and Politics of Trade", 2 juni 2008
"My gut feeling is that globalization, at the margin, decreases inequality between countries while slightly increasing inequality within countries.... A smart take on trade and globalization might well involve going forwards with the Doha round while at the same time doing a lot of work on reinforcing a social safety net which is currently failing a lot of blue-collar Americans."

David Wessel, ledare i Wall Street Journal 14 juni 2007, "The case for taxing globalization's winners", refereras av Mark Thoma:
"A new argument is emerging among the pro-globalization crowd in the U.S...: Tax the rich more heavily to thwart an economically crippling political backlash against trade prompted by workers who see themselves -- with some justification -- as losers from globalization.

The sharpest articulation of this view comes not from one of the Democratic presidential campaigns, but from economist Matthew Slaughter, who recently left President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers to return to Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business.

'Policy has become more protectionist because the public is becoming more protectionist,' Mr. Slaughter and ... Yale political scientist Kenneth Scheve, write in the new issue of Foreign Affairs magazine. 'And the public is becoming more protectionist because incomes are stagnating or falling.'
Globalization, the two academics argue with unswerving conviction, is good for the U.S. ... But the benefits ... have been distributed unevenly."

Uppdatering 5 mars 2012

Data för 18 OECD-länder, 1961-2007.
A-kassemått från OECD.
Handelsdata från Penn World Table 7.0, uppdaterad maj 2011

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