IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Social dumping and relocation: is there a case for imposing a social clause?


  • Cordella, Tito
  • Grilo, Isabel


Public opinion in Europe seems worried about the effect of lower-wage country competition. In both newspaper articles and in policy debates, the term ‘social dumping’ is becoming more and more popular. In many countries, trade unions worried by the effect of what they call ‘unfair competition’, propose the adoption of a ‘social clause’ protecting domestic markets from commodities produced in countries were minimal labour conditions are not met. We analyse the effects of such a policy in the framework of a vertically differentiated Bertrand duopoly. In particular, we study the effects of such a policy on the relocation decisions of the firms and perform a welfare analysis. The welfare analysis takes explicitly into account the unemployment situation in the domestic country by accounting for the workers’ welfare losses due to job reductions following the relocation of firms. We characterize the optimal social clause policy both under domestic welfare maximization and from an efficiency point of view. We show that, on domestic welfare grounds, the case for a social clause policy is weaker the higher the domestic wage and the lower the foreign wage.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Cordella, Tito & Grilo, Isabel, 2001. "Social dumping and relocation: is there a case for imposing a social clause?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 643-668, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:31:y:2001:i:6:p:643-668

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cordella, Tito & Grilo, Isabel, 1998. "'Globalization' and Relocation in a Vertically Differentiated Industry," CEPR Discussion Papers 1863, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Motta, Massimo & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1994. "Does environmental dumping lead to delocation?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 563-576, April.
    3. Barros, Pedro P & Cabral, Luis, 2000. "Competing for Foreign Direct Investment," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 360-371, May.
    4. Boccard, Nicolas & van Ypersele, Tanguy & Wunsch, Pierre, 2003. "Comparative advantage and social protection," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 247-264, June.
    5. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    6. Cordella, Tito & Grilo, Isabel, 1998. "'Globalization' and Relocation in a Vertically Differentiated Industry," CEPR Discussion Papers 1863, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Brander, James A. & Spencer, Barbara J., 1987. "Foreign direct investment with unemployment and endogenous taxes and tariffs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3-4), pages 257-279, May.
    8. DREZE, Jacques H. & SNEESSENS, Henri, 1994. "Technical Development, Competition from Low-Wage Economies and Low-Skilled Unemployment," CORE Discussion Papers 1994036, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Willem Molle, 2002. "Globalization, Regionalism and Labour Markets: Should We Recast the Foundations of the EU Regime in Matters of Regional (Rural and Urban) Development?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 161-172.
    2. repec:eee:jbrese:v:77:y:2017:i:c:p:95-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Collie, D. & Vandenbussche, H., 1999. "Trade, FDI, and unions," Discussion Paper 1999-42, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    4. Jesús F. Lampón & Pablo Cabanelas-Lorenzo & Santiago Lago-Peñas, 2013. "Why firms relocate their production overseas? The answer lies inside: corporate, logistic and technological determinants," Working Papers 2013/3, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    5. Hurtado Inmaculada & Argerey Patricia, 2008. "Social Dumping: The Debate on a Multilateral Social Clause," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-17, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:31:y:2001:i:6:p:643-668. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.