Reading Response: Health and Environmental Benefits of Globalization
From the course reading material which has been covered so far, I would like to state my opinion regarding the idea that globalization has contributed to the deterioration of environmental and health conditions. Even though it has been one of the major arguments of the opponents of globalization, it is worth stating that the evidence regarding this issue is not so one-sided, and that in numerous cases environmental and health conditions of various countries actually improved. Some of the arguments provided below can serve as more than eloquent examples of mechanisms of how globalization can have a positive influence on environment and health.
First theory which should be considered in support of the point is the hypothesis of gains from trade. As it was noted in the scholarly article by Jeffrey Frankel (2003), international trade allows all of the participating countries to get relatively more of the desired resources as compared to a closed state of economy. In addition to the output of industrial production, countries can also choose obtaining environmental goods, and they are in better financial position with respect to making such a choice, because of advances of international trade and globalization. This happens also due to the fact that globalization and openness encourages the development of innovation, both in managerial and technological dimensions (Long 2012).
Innovations, in their turn, stimulate the more efficient utilization of natural resources, such as fuel, water and soils.Second positive influence of globalization on the environment lies in the spill-over effects of high environmental standards in the developed countries as contrasted to developing. In this respect, largest and more influential political jurisdictions have been observed to set pace for the smaller ones (Braithwaite and Drahos 2000). In the US, this phenomenon has obtained the name of the so-called California effect. That is, when a large-scope state establishes internally increased standards for the automobile equipment ensuring pollution control, other states would also follow suit and subsequently spread the favorable effect of the adopted regulation into substantial territorial areas.
From this perspective, one can also conclude that such countries as United States and their multinational corporations in particular can serve as a driving force for the positive environmental change globally. MNCs from developed countries frequently employ highly advanced production techniques which are not yet widely used in the host countries (Frankel 2003), but can yet bring tangible advancements to the existing production technologies. As a result, higher environmental standards are becoming prevalent globally.Considering the positive developments in the health sphere, several arguments can be presented. First of all, there is evidence that globalization stimulates the dissemination of expertise and technology through the channels of investment and trade, which in turn contributes to better practices in the spheres of disease treatment, surveillance and prevention (Labonte 2004). In addition to the latter effect, as well as for the case of environment, economic growth of countries due to globalization is associated with improved health of the population, which is especially …