Drivers of Global Economy

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-7-5-16
V. Varnavskii (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article is devoted to an in-depth study of the basic factors, i.e. drivers of the modern world economy development. On the basis of an overview of the topical economic literature the author proposes a theoretical framework and concept of analyzing this problem. Traditionally, various kinds of factors are considered, including labor, capital, technology, population, human resources, and incomes. Basing on the theoretical exploration of the substance of related categories the author gives his own vision of the global economy fundamental drivers. Three of them are identified in the article: globalization, computer and China’s opening to the world. As the available statistics shows, globalization of economic activities pushed up rapid growth of the migration, international trade, foreign direct investment, capital flows, and the spread of technology. Computer and computer-based manufacturing technologies had a considerable effect on the productivity and economic growth. Globalization and computer led to enormous changes in manufacturing, management, household, as well as in everyday life of billions of the people. Special attention is given to the China’s factor in the global development. As of now, China is the world’s largest economy by GDP in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). In 2018, it generated about 18.6 percent of global GDP based on PPP, or 15.8 percent of global GDP in current US dollars. The United States holds a 15.1 percent share of global GDP in PPP terms and a 23.9 percent of global GDP in current US dollars (2018). In the recent years China’s contribution to global GDP growth reached about 30 percent of the total, while USA provided only 20 percent. Simultaneous influence of the above fundamental drivers has led to cumulative effect and profound changes in the real world. They have transformed humanity in many ways and made the Earth small and the Space closer. The author’s general conclusion is that the global proportion between the production for domestic consumption and the foreign trade that have been established by now may be considered as optimal and normal in terms of global reproduction system.

Keywords: world economy, drivers, factors, development, globalization, foreign trade, capital, computer, China, USA


1. Lucas R.E. The Industrial Revolution: Past and Future. Minneapolis, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, May 1, 2004. Available at: (accessed 10.01.2020).

2. Haraguchi N., Vu K.., Amann J. Accelerated Globalization and the Dynamics of Deindustrialization. UNIDO. Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development Working Paper Series, WP 27, 2018. 35 . Available at: (accessed 09.02.2020).

3. World Economic Situation and Prospects 2018. New York, United Nations, 2018. 187 . Available at: (accessed 10.01.2020).

4. World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019. New York, United Nations, 2019. 218 . Available at: (accessed 10.02.2020).

5. Global Economic Outlook, 1st Quarter 2017. Los Angeles, Deloitte University Press, 2017. 76 p. Available at: (accessed 10.02.2020).

6. Global Growth and Equity Returns. Norges Bank. Discussion Note 03/2016. 37 . Available at: (accessed 10.02.2020).

7. Bayarcelik E.B., Taşel F. Research and Development: Source of Economic Growth. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 58, 12 October 2012, pp. 744-753. Available at: (accessed 10.02.2020).

8. Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Geneva, World Economic Forum, April 2019. 39 . Available at: (accessed 10.02.2020).

9. Pala A. Innovation and Economic Growth in Developing Countries: Empirical Implication of Swamy’s Random Coefficient Model (RCM). Procedia Computer Science, 2019, vol. 158, pp. 1122-1130. Available at: (accessed 01.02.2020).

10. Gordon R.J. Why Has Economic Growth Slowed when Innovation Appears to Be Accelerating? NBER Working Papers 24554, 2018. 27 . Available at: (accessed 01.02.2020).

11. ICT Investments in OECD Countries and Partner Economies. OECD Digital Economy Papers. April 2019, no. 280. 65 . Available at: (accessed 01.02.2020).

12. Measuring the Information Society Report 2018, vol. 1. Geneva, International Telecommunication Union, 2018. 189 . Available at: (accessed 01.02.2020).

13. Haftu G.G. Information Communications Technology and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: a Panel Data Approach. Telecommunications Policy, vol. 43, iss. 1, February 2019, pp. 88-99. Available at: (accessed 10.02.2020).

14. Pradhan R.P., Mallik G., Bagchi T.P. Information Communication Technology (ICT) Infrastructure and Economic Growth: a Causality Evinced by Cross-Country Panel Data. IIMB Management Review, vol. 30, iss. 1, March 2018, pp. 91-103. Available at: (accessed 10.02.2020).

15. HR4.0: Shaping People Strategies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Cologny/Geneva, World Economic Forum, December 2019. 37 . Available at: (accessed 10.02.2020).

16. Global Material Resources Outlook to 2060 – Economic Drivers and Environmental Consequences. Paris, OECD, October 2018. 24 . Available at: (accessed 10.02.2020).

17. Digital Globalization: the New Era of Global Flows. McKinsey Global Institute, March 2016. 143 p. Available at: (accessed 10.02.2020).

18. Schwab K. Globalization 4.0 – what Does It Mean? Geneva, World Economic Forum, 5 November 2018. Available at: (accessed 10.02.2020).

19. World Migration Report 2018. Geneva, International Organization for Migration, 2017. 347 . Available at: (accessed 10.02.2020).

20. FDI Inflows, by Region and Economy, 1990–2018. FDI Outflows, by Region and Economy, 1990–2018. UNCTAD Database. Annex Tables 1, 2. Available at: (accessed 10.02.2020).

21. World Investment Report 2019. New York, Geneva, UNCTAD, 2019. 221 . Available at: (accessed 10.02.2020).

22. International Trade Statistics. WTO Data Portal. Available at: (accessed 10.02.2020).

23. GDP Growth (Annual %). World Bank National Accounts Data, and OECD National Accounts Data Files. Available at: (accessed 10.02.2020).

24. International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC), Rev. 4. New York, United Nations, 2008. 291 . Available at: (accessed 15.08.2019).

25. World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends. Washington, World Bank Group, 2016. 330 p. Available at: (accessed 10.02.2020).

26. The Conference Board Productivity Brief 2019. Washington, Conference Board, 2019. 27 . Available at: (accessed 10.02.2020).

27. World Trade Statistical Review 2019. Geneva, WTO, 2019. 174 . Available at: (accessed 01.02.2020).

28. Manufacturing: MVA 2019. UNIDO Selected Database, 2019. Available at:,%20Manufacturing (accessed 15.08.2019).

29. China and the World: inside the Dynamics of a Changing Relationship. McKinsey Global Institute, July 2019. 156 . Available at: (accessed 01.02.2020).

30. Čaušević F. A Study into Financial Globalization, Economic Growth and (In)Equality. Palgrave Macmillan. International Publishing AG, Switzerland, 2017, Springer. 189 . Available at: (accessed 30.01.2020). DOI:10.1007/978-3-319-51403-1 (accessed 01.02.2020). 

Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Varnavskii V. Drivers of Global Economy. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, no. 7, pp. 5-16.

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment






Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies


Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 7
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • The Supporting Structure of Global Security
  • Institutional Features of the Fourth Energy Transition
  • The Evolution of Modern German Christian Democracy
  • The Monarchies of the Persian Gulf and Central Asia
Submit an Article
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.