I perform a Schumpeterian analysis of a world economy in which heterogenous individuals and firms endogenously respond to stronger global competition by undertaking more education and by spending more in research and development (R&D). A more globalized economy is predicted to exacerbate wage inequality, but to spur human capital accumulation within each country. However, despite its positive level effects on consumption and output, globalization can reduce each country's per-capita output growth rate. R&D specialization allows each country to positively invest in manufacturing, variety proliferation R&D, and product quality upgrading R&D. The existence of such an R&D specialization – jointly with domestic size – allows us to explain some different economic performance about inequality and R&D effort of developed regions, such as the US and the EU countries.