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How bad is globalization for labour standards in the north?

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  • Donado, Alejandro
  • Wälde, Klaus

Abstract

We analyse a world consisting of 'the North' and 'the South' where labour standards in the North are set by trade unions. Standards set by unions tend to increase output and welfare. There are no unions in the South and work standards are suboptimal. Trade between these two countries can imply a reduction in work standards in the North. Moreover, when trade unions are established in the South, the North, including northern unions, tend to lose out. Quantitatively, these effects are small and overcompensated for by gains in the South. The existing empirical literature tends to support our findings. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics in its series W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers with number 84.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wuewep:84

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Keywords: Occupational health and safety; trade unions; international trade; welfare;

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  1. Booth, Alison L & Chatterji, Monojit, 1998. "Unions and Efficient Training," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 328-43, March.
  2. Drusilla K. Brown, 2000. "International Trade and Core Labour Standards: A Survey of the Recent Literature," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 43, OECD Publishing.
  3. Edmonds, Eric V., 2008. "Child Labor," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  4. Tito Boeri & Michael C. Burda, 2008. "Preferences for Collective versus Individualised Wage Setting," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2008-021, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  5. Mihir C. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines Jr., 2005. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Domestic Capital Stock," NBER Working Papers 11075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Boulhol, Herv, 2009. "Do capital market and trade liberalization trigger labor market deregulation?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 223-233, April.
  7. Nancy H. Chau & Ravi Kanbur, 2006. "The Race to the Bottom, from the Bottom," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(290), pages 193-228, 05.
  8. Levine, David I. & Rothman, Dov, 2006. "Does trade affect child health?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 538-554, May.
  9. Alejandro Donado & Klaus Wälde, 2008. "Trade Unions go global!," Working Papers 2008_22, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Aug 2008.
  10. Neumayer, Eric & de Soysa, Indra, 2005. "Trade Openness, Foreign Direct Investment and Child Labor," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 43-63, January.
  11. Mezzetti, C. & Dinopoulos, E., 1989. "Domestic Unionization And Import Competition," Papers 337, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  12. Eckel, Carsten & Egger, Hartmut, 2009. "Wage bargaining and multinational firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 206-214, April.
  13. Davies, Ronald B. & Voy, Annie, 2009. "The effect of FDI on child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 59-66, January.
  14. Naylor, Robin, 1999. "Union Wage Strategies and International Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 102-25, January.
  15. 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.
  16. Marta Aloi & Manuel Leite-Monteiro & Teresa Lloyd-Braga, . "Unionized Labor Markets and Globalized Capital Markets," Discussion Papers 08/10, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
  17. Kimberly Ann Elliott & Richard B. Freeman, 2003. "Can Labor Standards Improve under Globalization?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 338.
  18. Nirvikar Singh, 2004. "The Impact of International Labor Standards: A Survey of Economic Theory," International Trade 0412007, EconWPA.
  19. Marcella Alsan & David E. Bloom & David Canning, 2004. "The Effect of Population Health on Foreign Direct Investment," NBER Working Papers 10596, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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