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Globalization and Inequality

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image of Comparative Sociology
For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

Globalization may be defined by a worldwide division of labor and increasing trade between nations. This is inconceivable without expanding economic freedom across the world. Free trade and globalization increase competition, productivity, and economic growth rates. In spite of increasing inequality within many large economies – including the US, China, and Russia – inequality between human beings and households has been reduced. Since catch-up growth in big Asian economies contributes to Schumpeterian “creative destruction,” it necessitates rich economies to adapt, to become ever more entrepreneurial and innovative. This generates resentment and strengthens protectionist excesses which might serve some special interests. But protectionism harms the global economy, the prospects of the poor to grow out of poverty and, worse still, likely increases the risk of war.

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Political Science & Sociology, University of Bonn, Lennestr. 25–27, 53113 Bonn, Germany;, Email:


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