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News > Economy
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Globalization more popular
graphic February 1, 2002: 1:27 p.m. ET

But its post-Sept. 11 surge is volatile, World Economic Forum pollsters say.
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  • Special Report: 2002 World Economic Forum
  • Economists split on U.S. recovery - Jan. 31, 2002
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    NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Public opinion of globalization has improved in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to a poll released Friday by the World Economic Forum and a private polling group, but concerns about joblessness, poverty and the environment could sour opinion in coming months.

    The WEF and Environics International, a Toronto-based private polling group, interviewed 25,000 people in 25 countries and found overwhelmingly positive views of globalization in all but two of the countries, Turkey and Argentina. Among the countries with the most positive attitudes about globalization were the United States, Great Britain and other U.S. allies in its war on terrorism.

    "Our inference as pollsters is that the unity and success of that coalition gave people a positive sense of the good that could come from globalization," said Environics president Doug Miller.

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    Most respondents thought globalization would benefit their access to foreign markets, the availability of inexpensive products, their quality of life, human rights and more.

    But the three areas they thought would be worsened by globalization -- environmental quality, world poverty and homelessness and the availability of jobs -- are especially sensitive areas. If conditions notably worsen, then the broad support for globalization seen in the latest survey could diminish.

    "We believe this improvement [in support for globalization] will be difficult to maintain," Miller said.

    Interestingly, about half of the people surveyed said they supported peaceful anti-globalization demonstrators -- a question that was not asked in China, where the government reviewed and censored the questionnaire. And two-thirds of those surveyed said they thought "free market economy works best in society's interest when accompanied by strong government regulations," a point of contention for many anti-globalization groups.

    Also, the survey was conducted in only one Arab country, Qatar, leaving observers simply to wonder how the heavily populated Arab world feels about globalization.

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    "This is something we in the [polling] industry have been slow to pick up on," Miller admitted. "It's a challenging region in which to do research."

    Many of the poorest countries surveyed seemed to have high expectations about globalization's benefits. An overwhelming majority of respondents from China, Kazakhstan and India thought their country would get better because of globalization. Such high expectations could lead to disappointment -- and a backlash.

    "There is no reason for complacency from these numbers," Miller said. "We would expect volatility from them in the coming year."

    To help avert a backlash, most respondents said they'd be willing to pay 1 percent more in taxes to help the world's poor. Only South Korea had a majority of respondents unwilling to do so. graphic

      RELATED STORIES

    Special Report: 2002 World Economic Forum

    Economists split on U.S. recovery - Jan. 31, 2002





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    Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

    Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

    Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

    Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.

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