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The 2004 Global Labor Survey : Workplace Institutions and Practices Around the World

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  • Davin Chor

    (SMU)

  • Richard B. Freeman

Abstract

The 2004 Global Labor Survey (GLS) is an Internet-based survey that seeks to measure de facto labor practices in countries around the world, covering issues such as freedom of association, the regulation of work contracts, employee benefits and the prevalence of collective bargaining. To find out about de facto practices, the GLS invited labor practitioners, ranging from union officials and activists to professors of labor law and industrial relations, to report on conditions in their country. Over 1,500 persons responded, which allowed us to create indices of practices in ten broad areas for 33 countries. The GLS' focus on de facto labor practices contrasts with recent studies of de jure labor regulations (Botero et al., 2004) and with more limited efforts to measure labor practices as part of surveys of economic freedom (Fraser Institute) and competitiveness (World Economic Forum). Although our pool of respondents differs greatly from the conservative foundations and business leaders who contribute respectively to the Fraser Institute and World Economic Forum reports, the GLS and the labor market components of the economic freedom and competitiveness measures give similar pictures of labor practices across countries. This similarity across respondents with different economic interests and ideological perspectives suggests that they are all reporting on labor market realities in a relatively unbiased way. As a broad summary statement, the GLS shows that practices favorable to workers are more prevalent in countries with high levels of income per capita; are associated with less income inequality; are unrelated to aggregate growth rates; but are modestly positively associated with unemployment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series Labor Economics Working Papers with number 22066.

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Date of creation: Jan 2005
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Handle: RePEc:eab:laborw:22066

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Keywords: Labor Survey; industrial relation;

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References

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  1. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "Can labour regulation hinder economic performance? Evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 3779, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-91, September.
  3. Richard Freeman, 2005. "Labour market institutions without blinders: The debate over flexibility and labour market performance," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 129-145.
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Cited by:
  1. Collier, Paul & Goderis, Benedikt, 2009. "Structural policies for shock-prone developing countries," MPRA Paper, University Library of Munich, Germany 17311, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Simon Deakin & Prabirjit Sarkar, 2008. "Assessing the Long-Run Economic Impact of Labour Law Systems: A Theoretical Reappraisal and Analysis of New Time Series Data," WEF Working Papers, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London 0043, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London.
  3. John Armour & Simon Deakin & Prabirjit Sarkar & Mathias Siems & Ajit Singh, 2008. "Shareholder Protection and Stock Market Development: An Empirical Test of the Legal Origins Hypothesis," WEF Working Papers, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London 0041, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London.
  4. Richard Freeman, 2008. "Labor Market Institutions Around the World," CEP Discussion Papers, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE dp0844, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Oliver Fabel & Razvan Pascalau, 2007. "Recruitment of Overeducated Personnel: Insider-Outsider Effects on Fair Employee Selection Practices," TWI Research Paper Series, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz 18, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  6. Richard B. Freeman, 2009. "Labor Regulations, Unions, and Social Protection in Developing Countries: Market distortions or Efficient Institutions?," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 14789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Carsten Hefeker & Michael Neugart, 2007. "Labor Market Regulation and the Legal System," CESifo Working Paper Series, CESifo Group Munich 2041, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Martin Schindler & Mariya Aleksynska, 2011. "Labor Market Regulations in Low-, Middle- and High-Income Countries," IMF Working Papers, International Monetary Fund 11/154, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Frick, Bernd & Malo, Miguel A. & Garcia Martinez, Pilar & Schneider, Martin, 2012. "The Demand for Individual Grievance Procedures in Germany and Spain: Labour Law Changes versus Business Cycle/La demanda de reclamaciones laborales individuales en Alemania y España: Derecho Laboral ," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 30, pages 283-310, Abril.

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