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Comparative Advantage, Trade and Labour Standards


  • Matthias Busse

    () (HWWA - Institute of International Economics)


This paper empirically explores the relationship between labour standards and comparative advantage. Focusing on unskilled-labour-intensive goods and core labour standards, the results show that the effects of low standards depend on the type of standard: Weaker basic union rights are associated with a stronger comparative advantage. Forced and child labour also lead to an increase in the endowment of unskilled labour, and hence improve comparative advantage in unskilled-labour-intensive goods the opposite occurs with discrimination against females.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Busse, 2002. "Comparative Advantage, Trade and Labour Standards," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 6(2), pages 1-8.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-02f10002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jai S. Mah, 1997. "Core Labour Standards and Export Performance in Developing Countries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(6), pages 773-785, September.
    2. Martin, Will & Maskus, Keith E, 2001. "Core Labor Standards and Competitiveness: Implications for Global Trade Policy," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 317-328, May.
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    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade


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