Alessandro Vercelli

Globalizzazione e sostenibilità dello sviluppo

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This paper aims to address the question whether the post-war process of globalisation may be considered sustainable, i.e. consistent with the tenets of sustainable development. The first part analyses the empirical correlations between globalisation and a few crucial indices of social and environmental sustainability, including those examined in the literature on the Kuznets curves. In the second part the correlations detected, in particular the correlation between globalisation and the increase in income inequality and environmental degradation, are examined from the causal point of view in order to exclude spuriousness and to clarify some of their genetic mechanisms. The tentative answer to the question raised is that the post-war process of globalisation cannot be considered fully sustainable although it can, and should, be made sustainable through a radical change in the institutions in charge of regulating the international markets and in their behavioral rules. In the concluding section a few policy suggestions emerging from the preceding analysis are made explicit.

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