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Anti-Globalization Bias and Public Policy

Although much of the globalization debate focuses on the uneven impact of open trade, three other inherent anti-globalization biases are at work in many societies. These often contribute to the emergence of misguided public policies that benefit neither employers nor workers.

NEW YORK – Opponents of globalization constantly point to the uneven impact of open trade. Although trade liberalization can make the overall economic pie bigger, not everyone gets a larger slice, and many may receive a much smaller piece than before because of competition from foreign-made products. Such concerns help to explain why many blue-collar American workers voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election, and why French farmers and workers often take part in anti-globalization demonstrations.

But we should not exaggerate the importance of this point. In fact, three other inherent anti-globalization biases are at work in many societies, and often contribute to the emergence of misguided public policies that benefit neither employers nor workers.

First, although globalization frequently creates many more winners than losers, even before government redistribution programs, many winners mistakenly think they are losers because they fail to recognize globalization’s significant indirect benefits.

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