Skip to main content

Economics and trade

Section Editor: Rupa Chanda, ESCAP Subregional Office for South and South-West Asia, India
Deputy Section Editor: Ashley Schram, Australian National University, Australia

The increasingly interconnected and interdependent global economy as well as the changing nature of trade across borders impact development (both positively and negatively) with important implications for health the world over. Economic policies for the past four decades have largely embodied neoliberal theories that are subject to increasing empirical and theoretical scrutiny, with widely accepted concerns over their impact on inequality and poverty. Economic integration and trade and investment liberalization are defining features of contemporary globalization, and have given rise to new global supply chains, creating both health opportunities and risks. As with neoliberal economics, how trade and investment treaties impact on health outcomes within and between countries is hotly debated. A related outcome of trade and global market integration is the increased size and power of transnational corporations, where a few often dominate in different economic sectors, from food and drinks products, to banking and finance, to extractive industries, to health technologies including pharmaceuticals. Papers submitted under this topic explore these topics, and provide research, commentary and discussion needed to inform future health-equity enhancing macroeconomic policies and trade and investment rules; and the related power and influence on health exerted by multinational and transnational corporations.

  1. In the business literature, the term “corporate political activity” (CPA) refers to the political strategies undertaken by corporations to protect or expend their markets, by influencing, directly or indirectl...

    Authors: Mélissa Mialon, Camila Corvalan, Gustavo Cediel, Fernanda Baeza Scagliusi and Marcela Reyes

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2020 16:107

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  2. Health systems are struggling with unprecedented drug spending and governments have devised various policy options to manage high-priced medicines. Meanwhile, some pricing and reimbursement processes are curre...

    Authors: Kyung-Bok Son

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2020 16:98

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  3. The recent innovation activities of global top-tier pharmaceutical companies in accordance with global and regional health concerns were investigated in order to identify their innovations contributing to popu...

    Authors: Ye Lim Jung, JeeNa Hwang and Hyoung Sun Yoo

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2020 16:80

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  4. Different terms are described in the literature that refer to commercial determinants as drivers of ill-health. The aim of the present review was to provide an overview of the commercial determinants of health...

    Authors: Melissa Mialon

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2020 16:74

    Content type: Review

    Published on:

  5. With a 264 million population and the second highest male smoking prevalence in the world, Indonesia hosted over 60 million smokers in 2018. However, the government still has not ratified the Framework Convent...

    Authors: Abdillah Ahsan, Nur Hadi Wiyono, Meita Veruswati, Nadhila Adani, Dian Kusuma and Nadira Amalia

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2020 16:65

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  6. We present a systematic review describing ex-ante and ex-post evaluations of the impacts of intellectual property provisions in trade treaties on access to medicine in low and middle income countries. These ev...

    Authors: Md. Deen Islam, Warren A. Kaplan, Danielle Trachtenberg, Rachel Thrasher, Kevin P. Gallagher and Veronika J. Wirtz

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2019 15:88

    Content type: Review

    Published on:

  7. In late 2018 the United States, Canada, and Mexico signed a new trade agreement (most commonly referred to by its US-centric acronym, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA) to replace the 1994 No...

    Authors: Ronald Labonté, Eric Crosbie, Deborah Gleeson and Courtney McNamara

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2019 15:35

    Content type: Review

    Published on:

    The Correction to this article has been published in Globalization and Health 2019 15:44

  8. A key component of ‘obesogenic environments’ is the ready availability of convenient, calorie-dense foods, in the form of hyper-palatable and relatively inexpensive ultra-processed products. Compelling evidenc...

    Authors: Fabrizio Ferretti and Michele Mariani

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2019 15:30

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  9. There has been growing interest in understanding the role of agricultural trade policies in diet and nutrition. This cross-country study examines associations between government policies on agricultural trade ...

    Authors: Kafui Adjaye-Gbewonyo, Sebastian Vollmer, Mauricio Avendano and Kenneth Harttgen

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2019 15:21

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

    The Correction to this article has been published in Globalization and Health 2019 15:28

  10. Unhealthy dietary patterns have in recent decades contributed to an endemic-level burden from non-communicable disease (NCDs) in high-income countries. In low- and middle-income countries rapid changes in diet...

    Authors: Soledad Cuevas García-Dorado, Laura Cornselsen, Richard Smith and Helen Walls

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2019 15:15

    Content type: Review

    Published on:

  11. The food industry can influence individual and population level food consumption behaviours, shape public preferences and interfere with government policy on obesity prevention and NCDs. This paper identifies ...

    Authors: Nongnuch Jaichuen, Sirinya Phulkerd, Nisachol Certthkrikul, Gary Sacks and Viroj Tangcharoensathien

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:115

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  12. The inclusion of patent linkage mechanisms in bilateral and plurilateral trade and investment agreements has emerged as a key element in the United States’ TRIPS-Plus intellectual property (IP) negotiating age...

    Authors: Kyung-Bok Son, Ruth Lopert, Deborah Gleeson and Tae-Jin Lee

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:101

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  13. Medical tourism is a term used to describe the phenomenon of individuals intentionally traveling across national borders to privately purchase medical care. The medical tourism industry has been portrayed in t...

    Authors: Krystyna Adams, Jeremy Snyder, Valorie A. Crooks and Nicole S. Berry

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:70

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  14. Underweight is a major cause of global disease burden. It is associated with child mortality and morbidity, and its adverse impact on human performance and child survival is well recognized. Underweight is a m...

    Authors: Tuhinur Rahman Chowdhury, Sayan Chakrabarty, Muntaha Rakib, Sue Saltmarsh and Kendrick A. Davis

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:54

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  15. A key mechanism through which globalization has impacted health is the liberalization of trade and investment, yet relatively few studies to date have used quantitative methods to investigate the impacts of gl...

    Authors: Krycia Cowling, Anne Marie Thow and Keshia Pollack Porter

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:53

    Content type: Research

    Published on: