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The Ambiguous Outcome of NGOs’ Activism in Developing Countries

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  • Michela Limardi

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    Abstract

    Many Developing Countries ratified ILO Fundamental Conventions and authorized local labour unions. Multinational companies producing in these countries pay more when NGOs campaigns take place and reputation counts. However, whether this external pressure from NGOs benefit local workers outside MNEs affiliates in host countries remains an open issue. Segmented and weak local labour unions often rely on external funding from the North and technical assistance by labour NGOs. They need to increase their visibility in the labour intensive sectors targeted by Northern donations and activism. To address these issues we develop a bargaining model adapted to peculiarities of labour market institutions in developing countries, i.e. external funding and the complementarity with labour NGOs. This model is estimated on data on Indonesian manufacturing firms, before and after the authorisation of labour unions, in sensitive and non sensitive sectors. We find that, in sector with visibility for labour unions, the net outcome on wages of the presence of NGOs is negative. The external fundings imply a distortion in the objective of labour unions, confronted with the constraint of increasing the employment in the formal sector.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa11p555.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa11p555

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    1. Martins, Pedro S. & Esteves, Luiz A., 2006. "Is There Rent Sharing in Developing Countries? Matched-Panel Evidence from Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 2317, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Aldashev, Gani & Verdier, Thierry, 2009. "When NGOs go global: Competition on international markets for development donations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 198-210, November.
    3. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 552-580, June.
    4. Ann Harrison & Jason Scorse, 2010. "Multinationals and Anti-sweatshop Activism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 247-73, March.
    5. Pedro S. Martins, 2004. "Rent Sharing Before and After the Wage Bill," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 200405, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
    6. Helpman, Elhanan & Antras, Pol, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Scholarly Articles 4784029, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    7. Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Jan Willem Gunning & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Cathy Pattillo & Mans Söderbom & Francis Teal & Albert Zeufack, 2003. "Risk Sharing in Labour Markets," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-077/2, Tinbergen Institute.
      • Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Cathy Pattillo & Mans S–derbom & Francis Teal & Albert Zeufa, 2003. "Risk Sharing in Labor Markets," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(3), pages 349-366, December.
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