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Globalization: A Resource Guide

This research guide provides access to resources that define and analyze the significance of internationalization in global economic development, the history and elements of business globalization, as well as current trends.


Theodor Horydczak, photographer. Globe of the world. Asia and Africa III, ca. 1920-ca. 1950. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

This resource guide is created to help users understand globalization, its history, the elements it comprises, and the current trends. It also provides resources for keeping current with the latest research on the subject for further exploration.

Global integration, driven by technology, transportation, and international cooperation, has resulted in our present-day interconnected world. Increased flow of goods, knowledge and people across borders brought prosperity to many countries, lifting many people out of poverty. Countries benefit from comparative advantage of specializing in what they do best as participants of the global economy by producing more goods at lower prices that lower-income households can afford thus raising their living standards.

Current labor market landscape reflects our deep economic interconnections. While many manufacturing workers lost their jobs to cheaper labor overseas there are a number of industries dependent on migrant workers. Critics of globalization point at the loss of manufacturing jobs as a downside of globalization. Many economists, however, have concluded that overall benefits of globalization outweigh the costs to individual workers or groups and suggest putting in place domestic policies that help workers adapt to the changing job market rather than limiting free trade. This and many other debates on pros and cons of globalization, and current trends are discussed in the resources included in this guide.

Even though the term ‘globalization’ came into more common use in the 1980s, it is not a 20th century phenomenon. This guide offers sources for exploring the history of globalization that can be traced back for centuries.

While our interconnections encompass nearly every aspect of life this guide focuses on the economic aspects of globalization, mainly trade, financial markets, migration and labor markets, and technological progress. We did include resources on the role of globalization in spreading pandemics in light of the devastation the COVID-19 pandemic has caused across the globe both in human lives and economy.

International and research organizations that provide current research on globalization, academic journals and databases included in the guide will help those interested in deeper exploration of the topic. Search the Online Catalog section lists subject headings on globalization and related topics, which allow the user to launch a search for additional materials in the Library of Congress Online Catalog directly from the guide.

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About the Business Section

Part of the Science & Business Reading Room at the Library of Congress, the Business Section is the starting point for conducting research at the Library of Congress in the subject areas of business and economics. Here, reference specialists in specific subject areas of business assist patrons in formulating search strategies and gaining access to the information and materials contained in the Library's rich collections of business and economics materials.