Daily Archives: February 18, 2009

Gideon Rachman

I have finally found a question that Martin Wolf does not know the answer to – who invented the term “globalisation” and when? I e-mailed Martin (now temporarily resident in New York) with this query. But he was flummoxed – and this despite having written books on the subject.

I then thought I had solved the conundrum when I came across this obituary of Theodore Levitt, a Harvard Business School professor, from the New York Times. The article claimed that Levitt had invented the term in a Harvard Business Review article in 1983 called the “Globalisation of Markets”. But then, disappointingly, I noticed that there was a correction appended to the bottom of the article – claiming that the term had been used by economists earlier in the 1980s and was first used in the 1940s. Disappointingly vague, I thought.