Economic Policy Lecture Series 6

“Globalization’s Effects on the Environment – Boon Or Bane?”
Dr. Jo Kwong, Director of Institute Relations,
Atlas Economic Research Foundation

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Dr. Jo Kwong, Director of Institute Relations,
Atlas Economic Research Foundation

At an Economic Policy Lecture on Monday, March 29th, Dr. Jo Kwong spoke on “Globalization’s Effects on the Environment - Boon or Bane?” The lecture was co-hosted by ISEE and the Division of Management.

Dr. Kwong told her audience, that “Globalization, free of the emotional rhetoric, is simply about removing barriers so goods, services, people, and ideas, can freely move from place to place.”
Kwong sighted the key problem concerning globalization and the environment to be a lack of three major institutions: rule of law, property rights, and free and open markets.

Kwong said that these institutions hold people accountable for their actions while rewarding them for positive behavior. They create conditions in which market competition rewards innovation and efficiency, and in which economic development and increased wealth can fuel improved environmental quality.

The speaker also noted that globalization can advance these institutional changes, leading to enhanced social and political stability. Concerns that multinational corporations might be engaged in a “race to the environmental bottom” seem unlikely. Rather, Kwong says, these institutions can result in a “race to the top,” as jurisdictions compete to improve the quality of life for their constituents.

Dr. Kwong received her B.A. in Biology and Urban Studies from Brown University, her M.A. in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, and her Ph.D. in Natural Resource Economics and Management, also from the University of Michigan.


Dr Kwong and Dr Chilton discussing globalization effects on the environment.



Dr Kwong lecturing.