The Impact of Globalization on Rural Poverty

Alexander Sarris

Published: June 2003

The paper first reviews the meaning and causes of globalization. It indicates that globalization is not a new phenomenon in history, but the current phase seems to have new elements that did not exist previously. Regarding the consequences of the various aspects of globalization at the national level, it is shown that there can be both positive and negative aspects in the short and long runs. However, empirical investigations seem to suggest largely positive implications. The structure of poverty in rural areas is subsequently discussed, and it is shown that rural poverty takes very different forms in different parts of the world. Exploring the various aspects of the incomes of the rural poor, reveals that there are both opportunities, but also dangers of detrimental impacts from global integration. On balance, it appears that globalization creates both opportunities as well as risks, and the impacts on the rural poor will depend on the extent to which they manage to seize the opportunities while managing the increased risks.

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