The world is globalizing, although maybe not as much as we think. Nevertheless, there is a trend that emerged in the early 1980s that could be considered the starting point of what these days we call globalization. Over time, it has changed its dynamics and seen its fair share of setbacks, and the underlying drivers of development have been shifting. Those drivers ultimately resulted in the paradigm shifts that we have been undergoing in recent decades. Globalization was initially a one-way street along which the OECD or developed countries exported their products and services into non-developed economies and markets. Alternatively, those non-developed nations were used as a manufacturing hub for the world by Western companies, thereby engaging in labor arbitrage that fueled Western consumption with products that could be offered at steeply discount prices relative to average Western purchasing levels. These markets are called ‘emerging markets’1 these days, although the term has become quite obsolete as it now captures pretty much every country in the world outside the OECD region. Some of them have even made it onto the OECD list in recent years. In the last 10–15 years those initial dynamics have been changing somewhat. The emerging economies now account for a large part of global growth, absorb their fair (and increasing) share of global consumption and involve approximately five billion out of the seven billion people on this planet.2


Welfare State Free Market Public Governance Relative Bargaining Power Prudential Supervision 
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© Luc Nijs 2016

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