Impact of Globalization on Opportunities for Human Development
To what extent can globalized economies offer increased opportunities to their populations in different socio-economic domains?


Literature on globalization and its impact is vast and growing and has highlighted both the positive effects and possible risks. While the pro-globalization camp emphasizes the economic gains from the deployment of factors on external markets, anti-globalization advocates consider those economic elements that have either fallen out or suffered from the process of globalization. However, most studies on globalization use outcome-based data and measure ex-post situations i.e. income per capita, employment etc.

There are few studies that analyze whether increased openness has resulted in people having easier access to various socio-economic opportunities that could in turn enhance their human development potential. According to the capability approach, human development is defined as the enhancement of the choices that people have to lead the life they have reason to value and these choices cover a wide range of dimensions including economic, social, political, cultural, environmental and other dimensions. Although, according to economic theory, total welfare should increase when countries open out, the gains and losses generated in the process for different countries and groups have not yet been fully understood. The picture is even less clear when one looks at the impact on the quality of life which includes both economic and noneconomic aspects.

The project would like to examine the missing area of investigation in the link between globalization and human development by looking at whether globalized economies are able to offer increased opportunities to their populations in different socio-economic domains and the quality of such opportunities.


  • Globalisation
  • Opportunities
  • Human development
  • Quality of life
  • Quality of opportunities


  • Development
  • Economics
  • Sociology
  • Statistics


International Organisations:

  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Relevant Countries

  • All countries


This project, started in 2011, has been completed.

Contact the project team

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Research team

Jaya Krishnakumar
University of Geneva

Kui-Wai Li
City University of Hong Kong

Raymond Torres
Associated Member
ILO International Labour Organisation

Lucio Baccaro
University of Lausanne

Elena Sarti
Principal Member
University of Geneva