In fact, a substantial part of the decline in poverty had already happened by the mid-1980s, before the big strides in foreign trade or investment.
The financial press and influential international officials confidently assert that global free markets expand the horizons for the poor, whereas activist-protesters hold the opposite belief with equal intensity.
Yet the strength of people's conviction is often in inverse proportion to the amount of robust factual evidence they have.
As is common in contentious public debates, different people mean different things by the same word.
Some interpret globalization to mean the global reach of communications technology and capital movements, some think of the outsourcing by domestic companies in rich countries, and others see globalization as a byword for corporate capitalism or American cultural and economic hegemony.