Saturday, April 8, 2017

Interesting Case of Globalization

Throughout my economics coursework, the case for globalization has rarely been met with any argument substantial enough to deem it economically detrimental. There are economic costs of trade interdependence, but the overarching benefits such as improved diplomatic ties, enforcement of credible commitment to trade, market transparency, and comparative advantage have always made a strong case for the interdependence of nations on a wider cross-border scale.

I have tried applying the same theoretical framework to the Tohono O'odham Reservation. Of course, there are glaring differences between the "globalization" of the TON economy and an actual international globalization. However, the direct investment (technically foreign direct investment on the international scale) increase associated with trans-border trade should apply, regardless of whether or not that trade requires trans-oceanic transportation. But do the TO want it?

If the Tohono O'odham consistently feel that their tribal sovereignty is being threatened, would they rather retain that isolation and independence than receive the capital inflow associated with opening up to private enterprise from non-members? It would be an interesting topic to hear discussed within the tribe itself as I assume many would feel that tribal sovereignty and independence from non-TO influence takes precedent over capital inflows. However, the capital inflows may be the very thing the TO need to fund infrastructure projects that could make the reservation more self-sufficient.

1 comment:

  1. Good post. I like the idea of extending the trade theory framework to development on reservations. Most tribes do indeed want to attract outside investment and wouldn't see that as a threat to sovereignty per se. That said, there does appear to be a trade off in some cases. For example, harmonizing a tribes commercial code with surrounding states might lower transactions cost and risks of capital investment and debt financing, but be seen by some as compromising sovereignty.