Is globalization healthy: a statistical indicator analysis of the impacts of globalization on health

Pim Martens*, Su-Mia Akin, Maud Huynen, Mohsin Raza

*Corresponding author for this work

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    It is clear that globalization is something more than a purely economic phenomenon manifesting itself on a global scale. Among the visible manifestations of globalization are the greater international movement of goods and services, financial capital, information and people. In addition, there are technological developments, more transboundary cultural exchanges, facilitated by the freer trade of more differentiated products as well as by tourism and immigration, changes in the political landscape and ecological consequences. In this paper, we link the Maastricht Globalization Index with health indicators to analyse if more globalized countries are doing better in terms of infant mortality rate, under-five mortality rate, and adult mortality rate. The results indicate a positive association between a high level of globalization and low mortality rates. In view of the arguments that globalization provides winners and losers, and might be seen as a disequalizing process, we should perhaps be careful in interpreting the observed positive association as simple evidence that globalization is mostly good for our health. It is our hope that a further analysis of health impacts of globalization may help in adjusting and optimising the process of globalization on every level in the direction of a sustainable and healthy development for all.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number16
    JournalGlobalization and Health
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2010

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