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How Bad is Globalization for Labour Standards in the North?

  • Alejandro DONADO


    (University of Wurzburg, Department of Economics)

  • Klaus WALDE


    (University of Mainz, School of Management and Economics, Universite catholique de Louvain and CESifo)

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. Quantitatively, these effects are small and overcompensated by gains in the South. The existing empirical literature tends to support our findings.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2010028.

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Length: 27
Date of creation: 30 Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2010028
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  1. 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).
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  3. Mezzetti, C. & Dinopoulos, E., 1989. "Domestic Unionization And Import Competition," Papers 337, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
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  8. Neumayer, Eric & de Soysa, Indra, 2005. "Trade Openness, Foreign Direct Investment and Child Labor," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 43-63, January.
  9. Donado, Alejandro & Wälde, Klaus, 2009. "Trade unions go global!," IAB Discussion Paper 200903, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
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  12. 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, January.
  13. Ronald B. Davies & Annie Voy, 2007. "The Effect of FDI on Child Labor," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp215, IIIS.
  14. Boeri, Tito & Burda, Michael C., 2008. "Preferences for Collective versus Individualised Wage Setting," IZA Discussion Papers 3365, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  16. Eckel, Carsten & Egger, Hartmut, 2009. "Wage bargaining and multinational firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 206-214, April.
  17. Naylor, Robin, 1997. "Union Wage Strategies and International Trade," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 480, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  18. Brander, James A. & Spencer, Barbara J., 1988. "Unionized oligopoly and international trade policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3-4), pages 217-234, May.
  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.
  20. Nirvikar Singh, 2004. "The Impact of International Labor Standards: A Survey of Economic Theory," International Trade 0412007, EconWPA.
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