Measuring Globalization Although we intuitively feel that our world is becoming smaller, researchers have created ways to measure the extent of globalization scientifically. One index of globalization is the one cre- ated by the KOF Swiss Economic Institute (www.kof.ethz.ch). This index ranks nations on 23 variables within three dimensions: economic globalization (trade and investment volumes, trade and capital restrictions), social globalization (dissemination of information and ideas), and political globalization (political cooperation with other countries). 16
By incorporating a wide variety of variables, the globalization index attempts to cut through cycles occurring in any single category and capture the broad nature of globalization. Table 1.1 shows the 10 highest-ranking nations according to the KOF Index of Globalization. European nations occupy 9 of the top 10 positions, with smaller nations clearly dominating the rankings. The city-state of Singapore is the only Asian nation listed in the top 10. The United States ap- pears in 35th place overall, and ranks 79th in economic globalization, 29th in social globaliza- tion, and 22nd in political globalization. Large nations often do not make it into the higher ranks of globalization indices because a large home market means they tend to depend less on external trade and investment.
The world’s least-globalized nations account for around half the world ‘s population and are found in Africa, East Asia, South Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Some of the least- globalized nations are characterized by never-ending political unrest and corruption (Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Venezuela). Other nations with large agricultural sectors face trade barriers in de- veloped countries and are subject to highly volatile prices on commodity markets (Brazil, China, and India). Still others are heavily dependent on oil exports but are plagued by erratic prices in energy markets (Iran and Venezuela). Kenya has suffered from recurring droughts, terrorism, and burdensome visa regulations that hurt tourism. Finally, Turkey and Egypt, along with the entire Middle East, suffer from continued concerns over violence and social unrest, high barri- ers to trade and investment, and heavy government involvement in the economy. To deepen their global links, these nations will need to make great strides forward in their economic, social, and political environments.
QUICK STUDY 3
1. How have global and regional efforts to promote trade and investment advanced globalization?
2. How does technological innovation propel globalization? 3. What factors make some countries more globalized than others?
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