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Asymmetric Labor Markets, Southern Wages, and the Location of Firms

  • Alireza Naghavi

    (University College Dublin and CERAS)

This paper studies the behavior of firms towards weak labor rights in developing countries (South). A less than perfectly elastic labor supply in the South gives firms oligopsonistic power tempting them to strategically reduce output to cut wages. In an open economy, competitors operating in perfectly competitive labor markets meanwhile enjoy less aggressive competitors and raise output. Finally, competition effect reduces the ex-post output of a relocating firm. These effects reduce relative profitability of the South casting doubts on traditional beliefs that multinationals are attracted to regions with lower wages. Adopting a minimum wage unambiguously enhances Southern competitiveness and welfare.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2005.17.

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Date of creation: Jan 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2005.17
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  1. Gerda Dewit & Dermot Leahy & Catia Montagna, 2003. "Employment protection and globalisation in dynamic oligopoly," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n1200103, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  2. Brown, K.D. & Deardorff, A.V. & Stern, R.M., 1997. "Trade and Labor Standards," Working Papers 394, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  3. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan Deardorff & Robert Stern, 2004. "The Effects of Multinational Production on Wages and Working Conditions in Developing Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Challenges to Globalization: Analyzing the Economics, pages 279-330 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57, December.
  5. 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 317-28, May.
  6. Alan Manning & Ted To, 2002. "Oligopsony and Monopsonistic Competition in Labor Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 155-174, Spring.
  7. 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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