Economic historian Jeffrey Williamson is a firm believer in globalization as a
major force of change for the periphery and the core. Based on his presentation
and multiple readings, explain his position providing ample evidence on the
hypotheses he raises and the answers he supplies.
Periphery – Third world countries in the South
Core – Industrial OECD core in the North
Hypothesis: The timing of the great divergence between the periphery and the core,
especially from 1800 to 1913 can possibly be explained by the fact that the world was
open and pro-global during this period, whereas pre-1800 and during the inter-war
period from 1913-1950 the world was closed and anti-global.
Today, i.e. from 1950 onwards, the world is again open and pro-global.
Williamson has four big facts which
how globalisation widened the gap
between the core and periphery.
Williamson provides evidence for the fact that the widening of the gap between
the core and periphery,
based on trends in the core-periphery income per
, corresponds with periods during which the world was pro-global.
1820 to 1913,
a period of openness, the gap between Western Europe and
the rest of the world, in terms of income per capita, was increasing. Most notably,
this gap (in terms of income per capita)
decreased during the inter-war period
between 1913 and 1950 when the world was closed and anti-global,
specifically the gap between Western Europe, and Africa and Latin America. The
gap with Asia however continued to increase over this period, despite the world
being closed and anti-global.
A similar correspondence between periods of globalisation and anti-globalisation
and the gap between the core and periphery is illustrated in terms of
in real wages
. Based on evidence Williamson provides in his lecture, whatever
the differences in terms of real wages were between the core and periphery pre-
1800 when the world was closed and anti-global,
between 1800 and 1913, as
the world was globalizing, these differences between Western Europe (the
core) and the rest of the world (i.e. Southern Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia,
Latin America and Africa, the periphery) began to widen.
If the core real
wages were at 100 over the entire period from pre-1800 to 1913, the poor
periphery average real wages declined from 64.6 in pre-1800 to 50.6 in1820,