The concept of "world economy"

The world economy is a complex economic organism. It did not arise immediately in a ready-made form, but a long period of formation, which fit within the framework of many centuries, passed.

Currently, in the educational and scientific literature, two main approaches to the disclosure of the essence of the world economy have been outlined. In relation to one approach, the world economy is a set of national economies that are in close interaction and interdependence, subject to objective economic laws. The second approach assumes that the world economy (or world economy) encompasses a system of international economic relations that organically and universally connect national economies  into a single whole. Although in the literature there are different interpretations of the categories “world economy”, “world economy”, “international economy” and “international economic relations”, these two approaches allow, abstracting from insignificant details, to consider the data. the concepts are essentially identical.

“The subject of the theory of international economics is economic interdependence between countries. The flow of goods, services and payments between the country and the rest of the world is studied; policies aimed at regulating this flow and its impact on the well-being of the country. Economic interdependence between countries is influenced by political, social, cultural and military relations between countries and, in turn, affects them.”

The subject of study of the world economy, being very complex, has its own specifics – economic relations are realized through a transaction concluded by residents of various sovereign states. In the most general form, a resident of a given country is understood as an economic agent permanently located in the territory of this country, regardless of its citizenship or ownership of capital.

Disclosure of the essence of the concept of “world economy” requires the identification of the subjects of the latter. In this regard, “under the subjects of the world economy it is customary to understand economic and geographical isolated, closed farms, socio-economic systems and structures, more or less rigidly controlled from a single center.” The interaction of the subjects of the world economy can be represented in the form of a multi-level system:

at the micro level, economic relations develop between individual citizens and enterprises (firms) engaged in foreign economic activity; at the macro level, the subjects of international economic relations are nation-states.

The supranational level involves the interaction of international organizations and supranational institutions.

The realities of world economic relations of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries indicate that another level of interaction between the subjects of the world economy – the global one – is gaining strength and becoming dominant. Signs of global world economic cooperation are: the painful breakdown of traditional economic foundations within the borders of states, the “squeezing out” of domestic producers from national market spaces by international corporations, the growth of the degree of openness of national economies and at the same time the dependence of the latter on external factors. In fact, these processes indicate that world politics gradually ceases to exist at the level of individual states.

Between the subjects of the world economy, economic relations are formed regarding the export (import) of goods and services, technologies, labor and capital, the implementation of economic activities abroad, the attraction of foreign exchange and financial transactions.

The principles for the functioning of international economic relations are set out in the United Nations declaration “New Economic Order”. Among them, the following stand out:


the principle of peaceful coexistence;


respect for human rights and freedoms;

mutual assistance;

mutual benefit;

and non-discrimination.

The theory of international economics, studying certain aspects of the relationship between the subjects of the world economy, uses a set of techniques and methods. Among them: living contemplation of real economic life, the method of scientific abstraction, analysis and synthesis, induction and deduction, verification of scientific conclusions by the economic practice of society, etc. However, the main method of cognition of world economic relations is dialectical, suggesting that everything in the world is in mutual connection and dependence, in continuous movement, change, development. The world economy, in addition, operates with the tools of micro- and macroeconomic analysis, methods of economic and mathematical modeling.

So, the world economy is, firstly, a set of national economies that are in close interaction and interdependence, and, secondly, covers the system of international economic relations that organically and universally connect national economies into a single whole.