Labor standards, labor-management bargaining and international rivalry
AbstractUsing the labor union's bargaining power as an indication of government policy on labor standards issues, we analyze the competition between a domestic (North) firm and a foreign (South) firm, and their relationship with optimal labor standards (LS). First, we show that the optimal level of LS is higher when labor unions are employment-oriented than when they are not. Second, it is higher under free trade than under the optimal tariff system if labor unions are employment-oriented. Third, 'a race to the bottom' of LS occurs in the case of wage-oriented unions. Fourth, the North's imposing a tariff to force the Southern government to raise its LS is effective only if the Southern union is wage-oriented. In order to raise Southern LS, both countries may need some deeper form of economic integration, if the North does not want to abandon its free trade system.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.
Volume (Year): 71 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo
Labor standards Race to the bottom Tariff Economic integration Labor union;
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