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Race-to-the-Bottom or -Top at Home or Abroad: Health and Safety Standards and the Multinational Firm

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  • STEPHEN PAVELIN

    (University of Reading, UK)

  • LYNDA A. PORTER

    (University of Reading, UK)

Abstract

We develop a model to illustrate potential complexities in the relationship between corporate geographical diversification and the health and safety (H&S) standards set in national jurisdictions. A firm, that initially has a plant in its home country, may choose to also have one or two foreign plants in order to improve its bargaining position versus local governments, and so ensure reduced H&S standards, i.e. a race-to-the-bottom. However, contrary to the main focus of the popular debate on this topic, we note the potential for the race-to-the-bottom tendency to be exerted on H&S standards in the multinational company’s home rather than host country, and also for an upward push on H&S to instead result.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Pavelin & Lynda A. Porter, 2011. "Race-to-the-Bottom or -Top at Home or Abroad: Health and Safety Standards and the Multinational Firm," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 42(3), pages 289-311.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:42:y:2011:i:3:p:289-311
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    File URL: http://www.esr.ie/vol42_3/03_Pavelin%20article.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Maoliang Bu & Marcus Wagner, 2016. "Racing to the bottom and racing to the top: The crucial role of firm characteristics in foreign direct investment choices," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 47(9), pages 1032-1057, December.

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