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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. Content type: Research

    Nepal has been receiving foreign aid since the early 1950s. Currently, the country’s health care system is heavily dependent on aid, even for the provision of basic health services to its people. Globally, the...

    Authors: Radha Adhikari, Pam Smith, Jeevan Raj Sharma and Obindra Bahadur Chand

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:33

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  2. Content type: Research

    In principle, trade and investment agreements are meant to boost economic growth. However, the removal of trade barriers and the provision of investment incentives to attract foreign direct investments may fac...

    Authors: Adriana Appau, Jeffrey Drope, Ronald Labonté, Michal Stoklosa and Raphael Lencucha

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2017 13:81

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  3. Content type: Research

    Thailand’s policy to promote long-stay tourism encourages Japanese retirees to relocate to Thailand. One concern of such an influx is the impact of these elderly foreign residents on the Thai health system. Th...

    Authors: Yumiko Miyashita, Chutima Akaleephan, Nima Asgari-Jirhandeh and Channarong Sungyuth

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2017 13:14

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    The Erratum to this article has been published in Globalization and Health 2017 13:23

  4. Content type: Research

    Trade and investment liberalization may facilitate the spread of sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages (SSCBs), products associated with increased risk factors for obesity, type II diabetes, and cardiovascular ...

    Authors: Ashley Schram, Ronald Labonte, Phillip Baker, Sharon Friel, Aaron Reeves and David Stuckler

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2015 11:41

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  5. Content type: Research

    Illicit cigarettes comprise more than 11% of tobacco consumption and 17% of consumption in low- and middle-income countries. Illicit cigarettes, defined as those that evade taxes, lower consumer prices, threat...

    Authors: Abdillah Ahsan, Nur Hadi Wiyono, Diahhadi Setyonaluri, Ryan Denniston and Anthony D So

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2014 10:75

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