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.