The Shifts In The World Economy Essay

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1. The world economy has shifted dramatically over the past 30 years. As late as the 1960s, four stylized facts described the demographics of the global economy. The first was U.S. dominance in the world economy and world trade. The second was U.S. dominance in the world foreign direct investment picture. Related to this, the third fact was the dominance of large, multinational U.S. firms in the international business scene. The fourth was that roughly fifty percent of the world - the centrally planned economies of the Communist world - was off-limits to Western international businesses. All of these demographic facts have changed. Although the U.S. remains the world's dominant economic power, its share of world output and world exports have declined significantly since the 1960s. This trend does not reflect trouble in the U.S. economy, but rather reflects the growing industrialization of developing countries such as China, India, Indonesia, and South Korea. This trend is also reflected in the world foreign direct investment picture. As depicted in Figure 1.2 in the textbook, the share of world output (or the stock of foreign direct investment) generated by developing countries has been on a steady increase since the 1960s, while the share of world output generated by rich industrial countries has been on a steady decline. Shifts in the world economy can also be seen through the shifting power of multinational enterprises. Since the 1960s, there have been two notable trends in the demographics of the multinational enterprise. The first has been the rise of non-U.S. multinationals, particularly Japanese multinationals. The second has been the emergence of a growing number of small and medium-sized multinationals, called mini-multinationals. The fall of Communism in Eastern Europe and the republics of the former Soviet Union have brought about the final shift in the

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