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Labor Standards and Trade Agreements

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  • Robert M. Stern

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

There is a wide disparity of views on issues of international labor standards. Labor and social activists are concerned about the increased imports from countries in which labor standards are ostensibly not enforced at a sufficiently high level. They fear that these imports will be detrimental to wages and employment conditions in the industrialized importing countries and that workers in the developing countries will be exploited, their wages suppressed, and that they will be subjected to abusive work conditions. This paper explores these different views and the available options for addressing the issues involved. The paper begins with the definition and scope of labor standards and then turns to theoretical aspects of the economic effects of labor standards and a summarizes the empirical evidence on the effects on wages, trade, and foreign direct investment, and the role of interest groups. Global, regional, national/unilateral, and other arrangements for the monitoring and enforcement of labor standards are discussed and implications for policy presented

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File URL: http://fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/workingpapers/Papers476-500/r496.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan in its series Working Papers with number 496.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mie:wpaper:496

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Postal: ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN 48109
Web page: http://www.fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/
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References

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  1. Drusilla K. Brown, 2000. "International Trade and Core Labor Standards: A Survey of the Recent Literature," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0005, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  2. Brown, D.K. & Dearorff, A.V. & Stern, R.M., 1993. "International Labor Standards and Trade: A Theoretical Analysis," Working Papers 333, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  3. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M Stern, 2002. "The Effects of Multinational Production on Wages and Working Conditions in Developing Countries," Working Papers 483, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  4. Drusilla K. Brown, 2001. "Labor Standards: Where Do They Belong on the International Trade Agenda?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 89-112, Summer.
  5. Brown, K.D. & Deardorff, A.V. & Stern, R.M., 1997. "Trade and Labor Standards," Working Papers 394, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  6. Paul Brenton & Miriam Manchin, 2003. "Making EU Trade Agreements Work: The Role of Rules of Origin," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(5), pages 755-769, 05.
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Cited by:
  1. Carlos Felipe Jaramillo & Daniel Lederman & Maurizio Bussolo & David Gould & Andrew Mason, 2006. "Challenges of CAFTA : Maximizing the Benefits for Central America," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7127, July.

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