The Impact of Imports and Exports in a Country’s Quality of Life

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Publication Date


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Social Indicators Research


Business and Leadership


This paper is a sequel to Sirgy et al. (Social Ind. Res. 68(3) (2004) 251), “The Impact of Globalization on a Country’s Quality of Life: Toward an Integrated Model” published in Social Indicators Research. That paper conceptualized globalization in terms of the free flow of four major components: (1) goods and services, (2) people, (3) capital, and (4) information. The current paper focuses on the free flow of goods and services, one of the four major components of globalization. Specifically, we (1) articulate the trade globalization construct, (2) show the complex mediating effects between trade globalization and QOL, and (3) describe under what conditions these positive vs. negative QOL effects are likely to occur. We develop a set of theoretical propositions to capture these mediating and moderating effects. Based on the theoretical model, we suggest the following public policy recommendations: (1) Encourage exporting firms not to outsource jobs. (2) Encourage firms to export more products in ways that can enhance their production efficiency. (3) Discourage firms from exporting culturally sensitive (and possibly offensive) products to culturally distant countries. (4) Encourage firms to export more products with potential for technology transfer. (5) Encourage firms in industries with a significant comparative advantage to increase exports. (6) Encourage imports of products that do not compete with high employment domestic industries where workers cannot easily transition to more productive employment. (7) Impose trade barriers as short-term solution to help?threatened industries while helping those industries retool to become more competitive. (8)?Assist displaced workers by re-training them to shift to industries with comparative advantage.