Economic globalization and the COVID-19 pandemic: global spread and inequalities

Photo : Economic globalization and the COVID-19 pandemic: global spread and inequalities

In just a few weeks, 2019-nCoV has become a global crisis and there is no longer any question of it being a major pandemic. Faced with the spread of the virus and its impact, each country worldwide is dealing more or less urgently with the issue of its public health security. However, the spread of the disease and the speed of transmission need to be squared with the forms and characteristics of economic globalization, disparities in development between the world’s different regions and the highly divergent degree of their interconnectedness.

Combining a geographic approach based on mapping the global spread of the virus with the collection of data and socio-economic variables, we drew up an OLS model to identify the impact of certain socio-economic factors on the number of cases observed around the world.

Globalization and the geography of economic relations are the main drivers of the spatial structuring and speed of the international spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. While globalization drives the economic momentum of many regions, it also puts us in danger of numerous negative externalities that are especially apparent during the present CoViD-19 pandemic. The extremely rapid spread of the virus across the globe began in the most economically developed regions where international trade and business is prioritized. After initially following the corridors and international trade routes between developed countries, the virus spread later to developing countries.

The spatial organization of economic globalization is at the heart of the paradoxes that characterize the CoViD-19 pandemic. On the one hand, populations in the most highly developed economies were the first to be affected, which then created a context of uncertainty and aggravated risk for the least developed nations. On the other hand, access to the global healthcare market, which has become even more strained than in the usual context, is a central issue as it is driven by colossal, simultaneous demand with extremely short timeframes in a very large number of countries. Consequently, the timeframe that informs the ramifications of the pandemic is naturally a central issue in the management of any future pandemics with spatial and temporal characteristics similar to those of Covid-19.

The whole study, right here.

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    Ludovic Jeanne Ludovic Jeanne is an Assistant Professor of Geopolitics. He joined EM Normandie in 2007. He has a PhD in human, economic and regional geography from the Université de Caen-Normandie, awarded in 2002. His thesis is entitled “le karaté à l'épreuve du monde : diffusion socio-spatiale d'une pratique corporelle : analyse comparative des formes de pratique en France et au Japon” (“karate: socio-spatial mapping of a physical activity: comparative analysis of forms of practice in France and Japan”). His research interests are geopolitical, geoeconomic (rare earths) and regional development issues. His research studies now focus on regional risk and spatial ergonomics, namely in relation to understanding “terrorist threats”, their social and political construction and their social and political effects in their geographical expressions.
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    Sebastien Bourdin Sébastien Bourdin is a Professor of Sustainable and Regional Development. He joined EM Normandie 2012. He has a PhD in geography from the Université de Rouen-Normandie, awarded in 2012. His thesis is on economic and regional development, and the evaluation of public policies. His research interests are the effectiveness of cohesion policy, economic integration in the European Union and the circular economy. His main research interests are the European Union with a specific interest in the countries of central and eastern Europe and France. He has been Deputy Dean of the faculty on the Caen campus since 2019.
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    Fabien Nadou Fabien Nadou is an Associate Professor of Regional Development and Regional Economy. He joined EM Normandie in 2014. He has a PhD in spatial and town planning from the Université Tours, awarded in 2013. His thesis is on the spatial planning of economic activities in urban areas in France, and examines the capacity for regional intermediation in regional coherence plans and planning documents. His research interests are regional intermediation, economic and regional development strategies and figures. He focuses on coordination and proximity relationships between stakeholders (public-public; public-private), driving forces of the regional economy, relationships of regions with the business innovation process and the strategic spatial planning of economic development.

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