Globalization and Labor Market Integration in Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Asia
This article uses new data sets to analyze labor market integration between 1882 and 1936 in an area of Asia stretching from South India to Southeastern China and encompassing the three Southeast Asian countries of Burma, Malaya and Thailand. We find that by the late nineteenth century, globalization, of which a principal feature was the mass migration of Indians and Chinese to Southeast Asia, gave rise to both an integrated Asian labor market and a period of real wage convergence. Integration did not, however, extend beyond Asia to include core industrial countries. Asian and core areas, in contrast to globally integrated commodity markets, showed divergent trends in unskilled real wages
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