How the World Economy Has Changed

Globalization brings structural changes to national economies faster than they can react, resulting in unemployment, skill mismatches and wealth inequality, says Nobel Laureate Michael Spence.

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The economic crisis which began in late 2007 shows no signs of leaving, partly because structural changes brought on by globalization have altered national economies to the point where they no longer function well, says Nobel Laureate in economics, Michael Spence. Three structural problems plague the world economy: Not enough jobs for those just entering the workforce; labor-saving technologies have resulted in skills mismatches; globalization has created subsets of winners and losers within isolated national economies. 

What's the Big Idea?

In finding a solution to the current crisis, structural economic change is essential. That means addressing problems of opportunity and wealth inequality. Spence says: "The burden of weak or non-existent recoveries should not be borne by the unemployed, including the young. In the interest of social cohesion, market outcomes need to be modified to create a more even distribution of incomes and benefits, both now and in inter-temporal terms. After all, underinvestment now implies diminished opportunity in the future."

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