Publications Études de l'Ifri

The "Old Economy" in the New Globalization Phase Ifri Reports, Paris, Ifri, 2006.

Luis Miotti and Frédérique Sachwald

The "Old Economy" in the New Globalization Phase Download
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The dynamic sectors of world trade have changed between the 1990s and the early twenty-first century. Some Sectors of the new economy, which had driven world exports in the 1990s, have grown more slowly since 2000, while the main equipment and chemical sectors have been driving world trade.This paper interprets the trend reversal in favor of 'old economy' sectors as a characteristic of the new globalization phase. Since 2000, the latter results from the combination of the bursting of the Internet bubble and the rapid integration of certain emerging countries into world trade. The latter phenomenon reflects two fundamental changes in world industrial production. first, investments by multinational firms in the emerging countries are fueling a rapid shift in their specialization toward the assembly of certain medium- or high-tech products. Second, the massive capital-goods requirements of emerging countries are stimulating exports of machines, chemical products, and automobiles.

In this new phase of globalization, the integration of low wage countries into the world economy is both a source of opportunities and a challenge to existing positions. The paper shows that countries do not have an equal capacity to adapt to current industrial changes and to exploit the new configuration of global production networks.

This content is also published in French - Commerce mondial : le retour de la "vieille économie" ?