GW examines pros and cons of global economy

Harvard Professor Jeffrey Sachs’ appearance at Funger Hall drew some criticism, but audience members said overall they approved of Sachs’ commentary.

I really liked hearing a proponent of globalization who confronts its negative aspects and responds to them, said Jamie Foster, a first-year graduate student in the Elliott School of International Affairs.

Perrine Bismuth, an undergraduate exchange student from France was more critical. Bismuth was familiar with Sachs before the lecture from reading his books.

I think he’s a really good economist.he’s a really good orator, she said. When you listened to him you were really convinced.

Sachs’ illustrations of economic development using the example of textile workers in Bangladesh in particular drew ire from Bismuth.

I think that women are not happy in Bangladesh working in the sweatshops, Bismuth said. I think they’re exploited there. When you look at their conditions, I think they’re happier with conditions working at their farms.

Michael Moore, an economics professor in ESIA, had a different reaction.

When people (in developed countries) complain of job dislocation because of trade, those problems pale in comparison to problems faced in developing countries, he said. He’s rightly calling for research from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and World Bank that would directly solve problems of the developing world, such as agricultural and medical research.

Sachs’ remarks resonated with Prerna Chainani’s ethnic background. Chainani is an Elliott School graduate student from Hong Kong.

Coming from Hong Kong, which he considers to be part of the core (group of developed countries), I’ve seen the development happen, Chainani said.

Sachs rightly draws attention to the importance of technology transfer in economic development, Chainani said.

It’s technology that’s taken Hong Kong and Singapore and Malaysia to where they are now, Chainani said.

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