Naomi Klein and the Anti - Naomi Klein and the...

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Naomi Klein and the Anti-Globalization Movement by Paul S. Segerstrom Stockholm School of Economics Current version: April 15, 2003 Abstract: How should economists be responding to the arguments made by anti- globalization activists? This paper examines the writings of Naomi Klein, one of the leaders in the anti-globalization movement. After summarizing the contents of her influential book No Logo , some problems with her analysis of globalization and its effects are discussed. Author Address: Professor Paul S. Segerstrom, Stockholm School of Economics, Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden (e-mail: Paul.Segerstrom@hhs.se). Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Anna Breman, Richard Friberg, Tim Kehoe, Vuokko Segerstrom and Romain Wacziarg for helpful comments. Of course, any errors that remain are my own responsibility. Financial support from the Wallander Foundation is gratefully acknowledged. 1 1. Introduction Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author. She was born in Montreal in 1970 and currently lives in Toronto. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including the Nation , New Statesman , Newsweek International , Village Voice , New York Times , and Globe & Mail. Following several years of research, she completed a book No Logo in 2000 that criticizes the business practices of large multinational corporations as well as the policies of international organizations like the World Trade Organization (WTO). The timing of this book was perfect as it was published shortly after the 1999 WTO summit in Seattle, where a mass protest rally by anti-globalization activists turned into a riot. No Logo expresses powerfully the anger that anti-globalization protesters feel about what is going on in the world. This book immediately became a bestseller and it has been very influential. As a consequence, Naomi Klein has emerged as an intellectual leader in the anti-globalization movement. 1 As a professor of international economics at the Stockholm School of Economics, I teach on a regular basis an introductory undergraduate course on international economics. In this course, I talk at length about international trade policies: what are the effects of restricting trade using tariffs, import quotas, voluntary export restraints, etc. I present the costs and benefits of these trade restrictions and show that the costs typically exceed the benefits using standard cost-benefit analysis. I also present various sophisticated arguments that have been advanced for why countries should restrict international trade: the terms of trade argument for a tariff, the infant industry argument for developing countries, the strategic trade policy argument for developed countries, and various domestic market failure arguments for protectionism. In each case, I show that the arguments for why countries benefit by restricting trade are logically correct but of limited practical relevance. Because there is a strong case for free trade and there are
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This note was uploaded on 10/19/2011 for the course ENGL 112 taught by Professor Fox during the Spring '09 term at The University of British Columbia.

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Naomi Klein and the Anti - Naomi Klein and the...

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