Globalization Report 2020: Who benefits the most from globalization?



Dr. Andreas Sachs | Dr. Claudia Funke | Philipp Kreuzer | Johann Weiss | Bertelsmann Stiftung

Who benefits the most from globalization? The degree of growth in gross domestic product (GDP) per capita between 1990 and 2018 due to an increase in globalization is determined for a total of 45 countries. Chapter 2 determines for each of these 45 countries whether and in how far globalization took place in the period 1990 to 2018 and what share of the increase in economic output is attributable to it. Additionally, the Globalization Report focuses on social and environmental sustainability for the first time in Chapter 2.4. The report highlights whether there is at least a descriptive connection between the scope of globalization on the one hand and the degree of social and ecological sustainability on the other.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic slowing down worldwide economic activity in the spring of 2020, it is not clear at this time whether a structural break in globalization will occur and whether we are facing the onset of a phase of deglobalization. Since data for the year of 2020 are not available yet, any statements on the influence of the pandemic on globalization in the countries analyzed are in part speculative. However, initial calculations for Germany at the end of Chapter 3 suggest that the impact of the pandemic on the globalization-induced growth of gross domestic product per capita may well be considerable at the current margin of the analysis period.

Analyses of historical data on global trade interrelations also permit an assessment of which of the 45 countries are expected to be more strongly affected by a pandemic related decline in globalization. Due to this, Chapter 3 presents a foreign trade dependency index to reflect the potential economic impact of countries in the face of a global crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic. Comparison to the financial and economic crisis of 2008/2009 also presents plausibility of the dependency index as an indicator of the decline in economic performance due to global crisis. 

On top of this, well-structured fact sheets are provided for each of the 45 countries, summarizing the key findings of the Globalization Report for the individual countries at a glance.

To download the full report, please click here.


© Bertelsmann Stiftung 2020