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DECTI Trade Seminar: Is the World Becoming Smaller? Globalization and Convergence Across Countries

SpeakerMauro Guillen, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Abstract: We seek to establish whether distances between pairs of countries have decreased or not over the last half century. We consider various dimensions of distance, including demographic, economic, financial, knowledge, political, global connectedness, and cultural. Using a new methodology that enables the calculation of the minimum volume ellipsoid encompassing all countries during the 1960-2009 period, we find no evidence that the world has become smaller. We also investigate if distances between countries within specific subcomponents of the global system have become smaller. Taking into account core-semiperiphery-periphery clusters or trade blocs does not produce evidence of shrinkage within each subcomponent either. Finally, we predict that subcomponents are becoming more distant from one another. We find that core-semiperiphery-periphery subcomponents and trade blocs are becoming more distant from one another.

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