About this Research Topic
The traditional world economic order was inherited from the Colonial Age, with an assumed hierarchy of rich industrialized nations from the Northern hemisphere and largely poorer and underdeveloped nations in the Southern hemisphere. Capital investment and technology dissemination has historically moved southwards. Production of quality goods and services has occurred in the Global South using local affordable and skilled labor, while the same goods and services were mostly consumed by rich customers coming from the Global North or exported northwards to these same regions. Over the course of several consecutive industrial revolutions this mainstream flow remained prominent and visible throughout most of the XVIII – XX centuries.
This traditional pattern met a serious challenge during the post-WWII decades. The Cold War lasted for 45 years and brought heavy industrial development among the so-called Second World socialist economies led by the USSR. Many of the cutting-edge technologies of the time were patented in communist countries with the cosmic and military industries being the most prominent examples. In 1989-1991 the era of the Cold War ended, and there was an acceleration of globalization worldwide driven to a large extent by commercial interests of powerful multinational businesses. Among the consequences of this change were centrifugal dissemination of industrial technologies towards many of the historically under-developed economies. A milestone example of this profound change was the economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping in the People’s Republic of China in 1978, which has resulted in China following an exceptionally upward economic pathway since 1989.
Changes taking place over the next thirty years shall gradually become known as the Rise of Emerging Markets dominated by the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China). Happening alongside an economic slowdown in Western economies, particularly since the last global recession of 2007-2017, this evolution has changed the entire global macroeconomic landscape and reflects heavily in the health care arena. A recently released Brookings Institute report based on International Monetary Fund (IMF) data provides a clear illustration of this change. The report observes that EM7 nations (seven major emerging markets: BRIC + Turkey, Indonesia, and Mexico) will contribute one-half of the world’s economic growth (in terms of real GDP growth rates) in comparison to G7 countries (USA, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Canada, Italy), which will contribute jointly to only one-quarter of the world’s growth in 2018-2019. To emphasize this point further, at a previous Davos forum it was stated that in the past decade China, as the classical case of an overachiever, contributed alone to approximately one-third of all global economic growth. This shift means that now we have an acceleration of South-South global trade. Major investors in the most rapidly developing world regions do not typically come from major Western, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member economies, or Japan anymore. Instead, such capital and technology investments frequently are outsourced from China, India, Russia, or Middle Eastern countries.
This Research Topic was created in order to address the core challenges created by globalization for national health and socioeconomic systems worldwide. The ongoing 4.0 Industrial Revolution, robotics, and internet addiction issues are among its prominent consequences. Contributions of original research, reviews as well as perspective / opinion style papers in all these areas are welcomed. Submitted manuscripts should preferably focus on issues relevant to health economic and policy consequences of globalization. Submissions from academia, industry and regulatory authorities are strongly encouraged.
Keywords: globalization, health care, outcomes, health spending, medical care provision, financing, world
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