The Global 500: Mapping the world economy at century's end

Albert J. Bergesen, John Sonnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Fortune magazine's listing of the largest corporations in the global economy, the Global 500, is used to inquire into the industrial structure of the world economy and to speculate about the rise and fall of hegemonic states. The authors' data show that about half the firms are involved in basic production and the rest split between finance and service industries, with Asia, Europe, and the United States each accounting for one third of the firms. The authors begin with an overview of the global economy's industrial and regional structure, trace the development of the tripolar world economy since the 1950s, then examine the overall structure of the world economy in the 1990s. They end with speculation about whether the current financial expansion might provide the staging for a financial crash, leading to a Schumpeterian moment of creative destruction, which could help move the center of productive advantage from North America to Asia in the 21st century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1602-1615
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jun 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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