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Reality Bites: The Myth of Labor Rights as a Non-trade Issue


  • Susan Ariel Aaronson

    () (Department of Economics/Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University)


This article examines labor rights in US and EU trade agreements and shows that the link of trade and labor rights is a reality for the bulk of the world's trading nations. As nations learn to accept the link between trade and labor, its harder for them to argue that trade and labor rights issues should not be addressed by the WTO.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan Ariel Aaronson, 2006. "Reality Bites: The Myth of Labor Rights as a Non-trade Issue," Working Papers 2010-29, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:gwi:wpaper:2010-29

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brunetti, Aymo & Weder, Beatrice, 2003. "A free press is bad news for corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1801-1824, August.
    2. Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2004. "The power of information : evidence from a newspaper campaign to reduce capture," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3239, The World Bank.
    3. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Keohane, Robert O, 2002. "Rational Choice Theory and International Law: Insights and Limitations," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 307-319, January.
    5. Sandholtz, Wayne & Gray, Mark M., 2003. "International Integration and National Corruption," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(04), pages 761-800, September.
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    More about this item


    trade agreements; bilateral trade agreements; labor rights;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other


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