Transnational Corporations in World Development Still the Same Harmful Effects in an Increasingly Globalized World Economy?

Mark Herkenrath, Volker Bornschier

Abstract


Transnational corporations (TNCs) have reached historically unprecedented weight and power in the worlds political economy. Thus, the old question of how these corporations a?ect global development is nowadays more signi?cant than ever. While some scholars claim that corporate globalization will eventually close the worldwide development gap, many others contend that TNC activities lead to insu?cient exploitation of growth potentials within the host country, thereby hindering convergence of national income levels. The present study aims at assessing the validity of these controversial positions by confronting them with the results of past and present empirical research. In the ?rst part, we examine the e?ect of TNC presence on intra-national income inequality by reviewing the most recent cross-national studies dealing with this issue. In the second part, we present the results of our own research, which analyzes the e?ect of TNC presence on economic growth in a sample of 84 countries. The contemporary empirical evidence discussed in the ?rst part as well as the results of our own analyses tend to con?rm earlier ?ndings. They suggest that dependence on TNC activities increases inequality without adding to economic growth. However, the strong negative e?ect of TNC presence on growth found in analyses of data from the late 1960s cannot be reproduced in our contemporary analysis. In a signi?cant number of cases, the potentially harmful consequences of TNC activities seem to have been overcome by adequate countervailing state actions.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.2003.246

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Copyright (c) 2015 Mark Herkenrath, Volker Bornschier

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