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Must improved labor standards hurt accumulation in the targeted sector? Stylized analysis of a developing economy

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  • Razmi, Arslan

Abstract

This paper analyzes a stylized small open economy that consists of two tradable output-producing sectors: a manufacturing sector and a (mainly tourism-related) services sector. Assuming sectoral differences based on stylized facts, we explore the impact of higher labor standards in the manufacturing sector on the long-term prospects of the economy using comparative dynamic exercises to analyze changes in relative prices, foreign capital flows, and the sectoral distribution of investment and output. We find, in particular, that imposing higher standards across the manufacturing sector could, under certain conditions, shift the structure of the domestic economy in favor of that sector. This result is driven by changes in relative profitability in the presence of learning-by-exporting.

Suggested Citation

  • Razmi, Arslan, 2011. "Must improved labor standards hurt accumulation in the targeted sector? Stylized analysis of a developing economy," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 299-312.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:22:y:2011:i:4:p:299-312
    DOI: 10.1016/j.strueco.2011.06.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lall, Sanjaya, 1998. "Exports of Manufactures by Developing Countries: Emerging Patterns of Trade and Location," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 54-73, Summer.
    2. Eswar S. Prasad & Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2007. "Foreign Capital and Economic Growth," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 38(1), pages 153-230.
    3. 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.
    4. Dani Rodrik, 2008. "The Real Exchange Rate and Economic Growth," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(2 (Fall)), pages 365-439.
    5. Pedro Martins & Yong Yang, 2009. "The impact of exporting on firm productivity: a meta-analysis of the learning-by-exporting hypothesis," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(3), pages 431-445, October.
    6. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2005. "Exporting raises productivity in sub-Saharan African manufacturing firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-391, December.
    7. CUYVERS, Ludo & SOENG, Reth & PLASMANS, Joseph & VAN DEN BULCKE, Daniël, 2008. "Productivity spillovers from foreign direct investment in the Cambodian manufacturing sector: Evidence from establishment-level data," Working Papers 2008004, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    8. Lall, Sanjaya, 1998. "Erratum: Exports of Manufactures by Developing Countries: Emerging Patterns of Trade and Location," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 168-168, Autumn.
    9. Blecker, Robert A., 1996. "The new economic integration: Structuralist models of North-South trade and investment liberalization," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 321-345, September.
    10. 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.
    11. Maskus, Keith E., 1997. "Should core labor standards be imposed through international trade policy?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1817, The World Bank.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor standards; Structural change; Learning-by-exporting; Tradable sector; Industrialization;

    JEL classification:

    • J80 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - General
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements

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