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The 2004 Global Labor Survey : Workplace Institutions and Practices Around the World

Author

Listed:
  • Davin Chor

    (SMU)

  • Richard B. Freeman

Abstract

The 2004 Global Labor Survey (GLS) is an Internet-based survey that seeks to measure de facto labor practices in countries around the world, covering issues such as freedom of association, the regulation of work contracts, employee benefits and the prevalence of collective bargaining. To find out about de facto practices, the GLS invited labor practitioners, ranging from union officials and activists to professors of labor law and industrial relations, to report on conditions in their country. Over 1,500 persons responded, which allowed us to create indices of practices in ten broad areas for 33 countries. The GLS' focus on de facto labor practices contrasts with recent studies of de jure labor regulations (Botero et al., 2004) and with more limited efforts to measure labor practices as part of surveys of economic freedom (Fraser Institute) and competitiveness (World Economic Forum). Although our pool of respondents differs greatly from the conservative foundations and business leaders who contribute respectively to the Fraser Institute and World Economic Forum reports, the GLS and the labor market components of the economic freedom and competitiveness measures give similar pictures of labor practices across countries. This similarity across respondents with different economic interests and ideological perspectives suggests that they are all reporting on labor market realities in a relatively unbiased way. As a broad summary statement, the GLS shows that practices favorable to workers are more prevalent in countries with high levels of income per capita; are associated with less income inequality; are unrelated to aggregate growth rates; but are modestly positively associated with unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Davin Chor & Richard B. Freeman, 2005. "The 2004 Global Labor Survey : Workplace Institutions and Practices Around the World," Labor Economics Working Papers 22066, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:laborw:22066
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2004. "Can Labor Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 91-134.
    2. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    3. Richard Freeman, 2005. "Labour market institutions without blinders: The debate over flexibility and labour market performance," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 129-145.
    4. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    5. Bohning, W. R., 2003. "Gaps in basic workers' rights : measuring international adherence to and implementation of the organization's values with public ILO data," ILO Working Papers 993616463402676, International Labour Organization.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Collier & Benedikt Goderis, 2009. "Structural policies for shock-prone developing countries," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(4), pages 703-726, October.
    2. Hefeker, Carsten & Neugart, Michael, 2010. "Labor market regulation and the legal system," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 218-225, September.
    3. Richard B. Freeman, 2009. "Labor Regulations, Unions, and Social Protection in Developing Countries: Market distortions or Efficient Institutions?," NBER Working Papers 14789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Armour, John & Deakin, Simon & Sarkar, Prabirjit & Siems, Mathias & Singh, Ajit, 2007. "Shareholder protection and stockmarket development: an empirical test of the legal origins hypothesis," MPRA Paper 39055, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Frick, Bernd & Malo, Miguel A. & Garcia Martinez, Pilar & Schneider, Martin, 2012. "The Demand for Individual Grievance Procedures in Germany and Spain: Labour Law Changes versus Business Cycle/La demanda de reclamaciones laborales individuales en Alemania y España: Derecho Laboral v," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 30, pages 283-310, Abril.
    6. Skorepa, Michal & Komarek, Lubos, 2015. "Sources of asymmetric shocks: The exchange rate or other culprits?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 654-674.
    7. Richard B. Freeman, 2007. "Labor Market Institutions Around the World," NBER Working Papers 13242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Oliver Fabel & Razvan Pascalau, 2007. "Recruitment of Overeducated Personnel: Insider-Outsider Effects on Fair Employee Selection Practices," TWI Research Paper Series 18, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    9. Simon Deakin & Prabirjit Sarkar, 2008. "Assessing the Long-Run Economic Impact of Labour Law Systems: A theoretical Reappraisal and Analysis of New Time Series Data," Working Papers wp367, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    10. Paul Collier & Benedikt Goderis, 2009. "Structural policies for shock-prone developing countries," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(4), pages 703-726, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor Survey; industrial relation;

    JEL classification:

    • J00 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - General
    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • J80 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - General

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