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Int J Health Plann Manage. 2016 Oct;31(4):511-536. doi: 10.1002/hpm.2315. Epub 2015 Sep 22.

Is globalization really good for public health?

Author information

1
Department of Economics, Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary.
2
Department of Political Science, Innsbruck University, Innsbruck, Austria.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

In the light of recent very prominent studies, especially that of Mukherjee and Krieckhaus (), one should be initially tempted to assume that nowadays globalization is a driver of a good public health performance in the entire world system. Most of these studies use time series analyses based on the KOF Index of Globalization. We attempt to re-analyze the entire question, using a variety of methodological approaches and data. Our re-analysis shows that neoliberal globalization has resulted in very important implosions of public health development in various regions of the world and in increasing inequality in the countries of the world system, which in turn negatively affect health performance.

DESIGN:

We use standard ibm/spss ordinary least squares (OLS) regressions, time series and cross-correlation analyses based on aggregate, freely available data.

MAIN OUTCOMES:

Different components of the KOF Index, most notably actual capital inflows, affect public health negatively. The "decomposition" of the available data suggests that for most of the time period of the last four decades, globalization inflows even implied an aggregate deterioration of public health, quite in line with globalization critical studies. We introduce the effects of inequality on public health, widely debated in global public health research. Our annual time series for 99 countries show that globalization indeed leads to increased inequality, and this, in turn, leads to a deteriorating public health performance. In only 19 of the surveyed 99 nations with complete data (i.e., 19.1%), globalization actually preceded an improvement in the public health performance. Far from falsifying globalization critical research, our analyses show the basic weaknesses of the new "pro-globalization" literature in the public health profession. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

KEYWORDS:

globalization; inequality; infant mortality

PMID:
26392240
DOI:
10.1002/hpm.2315
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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