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TLI Think ! Paper 12/2016

The Rich List : The Global Corporate Race to Be Number One

Daniel Drache (York University) Michèle Rioux (UQAM) et Paul Longhurst (York University)

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Abstract

This report proceeds in two sections. First, the report presents our empirical data, mapping the power shifts in the corporate global power structure in order to ask : Who is caught up with their rivals ? Who has fallen behind ? And who are closing the gap ? There are a lot of different metrics and ways to look at the rankings of the world’s largest corporations. We have combined a number of these important sources which track and compile the rankings based on 5 characteristics of corporate power which include : domestic market dominance, heavy transnationalization, technological advancement, cost-cutting, and soft power status. The second section the moves to address more theoretical and analytical questions about the changing global dynamic of the world economy, especially in terms of the role of government policies, regional groupings and international trade blocs such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Moreover, it concludes by framing a number of the reports’ key findings : 1) thanks to a large head start, American remains number one for now, 2) China will continue to be number two for a very long time to come, 3) oil money and corporate heavy debt loads in the resources sector are threatening global stability, 4) geopolitical regions matter more than ever. Lastly, it highlights what we call ‘The Final 2016 Score’ : 1-0 US over China.

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