Understanding the Fear of Globalisation


  • I thank the participants at the second annual meeting of the IEFS – China, the annual meeting of the APTS, and the seminar audience at the University of Missouri at Columbia, Hitotsubashi, Nagoya, Okayama, and Shanghai Jiaotong University for their helpful comments. Financial support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada is also gratefully acknowledged.


Why does the public seem to have much stronger opposition to the current wave of globalisation than to the previous rounds of trade liberalisation? This paper identifies some of the key differences between globalisation and trade liberalisation that could be responsible for phenomenon. We show that (i) while both globalisation and trade liberalisation create inter-sector income distribution, the former also creates intra-sector income distribution and intra-sector uncertainty and (ii) that these features imply lower public support for globalisation.