In a world that tends toward economic and cultural globlization, every effort must be made to ensure that growth and development are put at the serivce of all and not just limited parts of the population.

— Pope Francis

Our mission is to foster a deep understanding of the complex interplay between globalization, social investment, and inequality. Through our research initiatives and partnerships, we aim to drive meaningful conversations, propose actionable solutions, and contribute to the advancement of a more just, inclusive, and sustainable world.

Eighty percent of Americans feel that the global economy hurts them, according to a Pew study. This is a worrying reversal in a country that built the current international economic order and has benefited disproportionately from its riches. America’s challenge is that not everyone has benefited from globalization equally. Rising economic inequality compounds existing political and social tensions, deepening divisions in society. In response to these trends, some in the United States and elsewhere have called for a withdrawal from the globalized economy.

The study of globalization’s effects currently emphasizes aggregate outcomes at the national and international level, with relatively limited attention paid to the local level, where daily life is experienced and where politics begins. To build a better future and respond to globalization’s critics, the local costs and benefits of globalization must be understood and communicated. Equipped with this information, our leaders can enact precise policies that ameliorate costs from global competition without dismantling the beneficial features of our global economic system.

In response to this tension in our national discourse and the critical gap in existing scholarship, Georgetown University recently launched the Lab for Globalization and Shared Prosperity (The Lab). Drawing on multidisciplinary scholarly expertise and its location in Washington, D.C., the Lab seeks to translate cutting-edge political economy research into actionable non-partisan policy solutions.

The Lab bridges theory and practice by actively communicating key results and recommendations to policymakers and the public. Through accessible online resources that detail the effects of globalization and social investment in local contexts and partnerships with leaders at all levels of government, the Lab will work to reshape the public conversation around globalization and advance policies that lead to shared prosperity.

Our first major products are global indices that will lead to better globalization and social investment policies. We are compiling local exposure to international markets, social investment and proxy data for upward mobility at the county level including median household income and Gini Index scores. Research and media focus on manufacturing exposure, but we are adding the most critical missing piece to our interactive exposure map: the service sector. We have assembled teams in the U.S., China, Vietnam, India, Mexico, and Europe – a shift towards embedded liberalism paradigm must be global.