Honors Thesis Project Title

Does Globalization Improve Quality of Life?

Date of Graduation




Major 1

Business Analytics

Major 2

Supply Chain Management

First Advisor

James Holladay


We have seen the world become a more interconnected place with the rise of technology and international trade. Research is still undecided about what effects it will have on a country’s culture and way of life when that countries’ trade is more open to the outside world. Various organizations and researchers have used a calculated “openness” level of a country’s trade and output to determine the influence of trade on that country’s economy.

But there are more pressing problems facing our world than just economic “openness.” For example, approximately 3.1 million children die from hunger each year (WorldHunger.org). In a world where many policy makers are worried about the expansion of free trade and cheaper foreign labor, I am not certain how a country’s strivings to reach this goal of more “open” economy will or will not give their citizens a better quality of life. I will attempt to gain insight into that question using the United Nation’s millennium development goals.

The United Nations has created 8 Millennium Develpment Goals, which it hopes will drive their efforts toward a better world for those in poverty and suffering. The outcome of these goals shows us a glimpse into the lives of people in that country. For example, in countries with low levels of child mortality and high levels of gender equality, we would expect people to be wealthier and healthier, thus contributing to a more productive economy.

As globalization, openness, increases, I saw an increase in quality of life as well. This graph is a depiction of what is perceived by many to be true of globalization: that as our world becomes more globalized, I should likewise expect to see quality of life increase.

But when I look at the data, how do these goals measure up with openness? In countries with what I consider “great” levels of each of the goals, will I see an equally high level of openness? To determine this relationship, I must see how well each of the goals in a particular country would do at predicting their specific openness level.

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