One might anticipate that increasingly tight environmental restrictions, coupled with falling trade costs, might inspire a race to the bottom, as producers relocate to countries with less stringent regulations. However, new research by the World Bank, published in the World Development Report 2020, finds that this hypothesis has not been borne out.
Looking at the United States as a case study, the report observed that emissions from U.S. manufacturing fell between 1990 and 2008. However, “contrary to the conventional wisdom about industrialized countries ‘offshoring’ production of polluting goods, imports to the United States have been shifting away from pollution-intensive goods even faster,” wrote the report’s authors.
“As trade costs fall, the U.S. increasingly imports goods in which it has a comparative disadvantage, which happen to be those that are relatively less pollution-intensive,” wrote the report’s authors. “Trends in Europe are similar, with imports becoming progressively less pollution-intensive, especially from low-income countries.”
Yesterday, we had good news to share about the link between global value chains and poverty reduction. However, the World Bank’s World Development Report 2020 offers a grim prognosis for world trade and poverty reduction should global trade conflict — in particular, the conflict between the United States and China — worsen.
“If the trade conflict worsens and leads to a slump in investor confidence, effects on global growth and poverty could be significant — up to 30.7 million people could be pushed into poverty, measured as an income level of less than $5.50 a day, and global income could fall as much as $1.4 trillion in a worst-case scenario,” wrote the report’s authors. Moreover, “low- and middle-income countries other than China would bear roughly half of the global income loss.”
Economies’ participation in global value chains (GVC) is associated with a decrease in the number of people living $5.50 or less per day, according to the World Development Report 2020, a new report by the World Bank. Encouragingly, the report’s authors also found “no apparent relationship” between GVC participation in developing countries and increases in income inequality.
The data in the report is prefaced with a warning, however. “The expansion of trade and GVCs is at an inflection point,” wrote Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, chief economist of the World Bank Group. “People are disenchanted with free trade. … Businesses are complaining about the limitations of the current multilateral system in dealing with their concerns [and] governments are inclined to respond by using trade policy as a tool for social protection and to address inadequacies in the current trade rules.”
Yesterday was World Mental Health Day. Earlier this year, BRINK spoke to Annie McKee, author of How To Be Happy at Work: The Power of Purpose, Hope, and Friendship about strategies to stay healthy and fulfilled at work:
“The reality is that when we are fearful, angry, frustrated or stressed to the max, our brains don’t work as well. We’re facing great challenges in our workplaces, and any kind of chronic negativity that interferes with our ability to be smart is a real problem. However, when we are enthusiastic, optimistic, hopeful or excited about what we’re doing, and even when we are appropriately stressed—not overstressed but appropriately stressed—we think more clearly, we take in more information, we’re able to process that information faster and we make better decisions.”
Revisit that interview here: How To Be Happy at Work, According to the Expert Who (Literally) Wrote the Book on It
Organizations are investing more in cybersecurity technology — a welcome trend, but for the drivers behind it.
“Many organizations seem to have a reactive stance toward cyber risks,” wrote the authors of the 2019 Global Cyber Risk Perception Survey from Marsh and Microsoft. “The most commonly cited trigger for increasing investment was for a cyber incident to occur. Far less common was for business leaders to proactively initiate a focus on cyber risk investment.”