Understanding the backlash to globalization: Prof. Penny Goldberg on the complicated relationship between international trade, poverty reduction, and inequality

Penny Goldberg speaking at the Yale EGC Kuznets 2020 lectureEGC Voices in Development, Episode 2

Once embraced as a pathway to global prosperity, globalization has come under attack in recent years. International trade has decreased inequality between nations, but at the cost of sometimes increasing inequalities within nations. As countries try to deal with the unequal benefits of trade by turning to protectionism, how can global coordination and poverty reduction be sustained?   

Pinelopi (Penny) Koujianou Goldberg – Elihu Professor of Economics and Global Affairs at Yale and an EGC affiliate – explores these subjects in her upcoming monograph. For globalization and trade to be welcomed, Goldberg says, “redistribution has to go hand-in-hand with trade liberalization.”  

Goldberg’s path into economics was heavily influenced by her upbringing in Greece during the 1970s, as increasing trade flows played an important role in the country’s transition to a middle- and then high-income economy. She went on to serve as Chief Economist at the World Bank Group, taking her academic career into the world of policy. Goldberg is a leading microeconomist on trade and development and her work has been published in Econometrica, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the American Economic Review and the Review of Economic Studies, among other journals. She delivered the Ohlin Lecture in Stockholm in 2019, and her monograph “The Unequal Effects of Globalization”, based on that talk and other research, will be published in 2023.