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International Labor Standards and International Trade

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  • Stephen S. Golub

Abstract

This paper reviews controversies regarding linkage of international trade and labor standards. Pressures for international harmonization of labor standards arise in the context of increased trade between countries with large disparities in wages, and also reflect the history of labor standards. A critical distinction is made between standards related to fundamental human rights and those related to employment conditions. The main conclusion is that trade sanctions to enforce labor standards should not be an option, but that international agreements on core labor standards, with voluntary compliance, may, apart from being worthwhile on ethical grounds, defuse calls for protection.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen S. Golub, 1997. "International Labor Standards and International Trade," IMF Working Papers 97/37, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:97/37
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    Cited by:

    1. Grethe, Harald, 2007. "High animal welfare standards in the EU and international trade - How to prevent potential `low animal welfare havens'?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 315-333, June.
    2. Drusilla Brown & Alan Deardorff & Robert Stern, 1998. "Trade and Labor Standards," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 171-194, April.
    3. Martin Rama, 2002. "Globalization and Workers in Developing Countries," Economics Study Area Working Papers 41, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
    4. Giovanni Immordino, 2003. "Fairness, NGO Activism and the Welfare of Less Developed Countries," CSEF Working Papers 101, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 09 Dec 2007.
    5. Stephen Golub & Aly Mbaye & Hanyu Chwe, 2015. "Labor Market Regulations in Sub-Saharan Africa, With a Focus on Senegal," Working Papers 201505, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    6. Busse, Matthias, 2002. "Do Labor Standards Affect Comparative Advantage in Developing Countries?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 1921-1932, November.
    7. Neumayer, Eric & Soysa, Indra de, 2006. "Globalization and the Right to Free Association and Collective Bargaining: An Empirical Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 31-49, January.
    8. Eric Neumayer & Indra de Soysa, 2004. "Globalization and the Right to Free Association and Collective," Labor and Demography 0410006, EconWPA, revised 22 Apr 2005.
    9. Greene, William, 2005. "Growth in Services Outsourcing to India: Propellant or Drain on the U.S. Economy?," Working Papers 15865, United States International Trade Commission, Office of Economics.
    10. Immordino Giovanni, 2008. "Fairness, Consumer Consciousness and the Welfare of Less Developed Countries," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-21, February.
    11. Felipe, Jesus, 2009. "A Cautionary Note on the Interpretation of Unit Labor Costs as an Indicator of Competitiveness, with Reference to the Philippines," Philippine Journal of Development PJD 2007 Vol. XXXIV No. 2, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    12. Nirvikar Singh, 2004. "The Impact of International Labor Standards: A Survey of Economic Theory," International Trade 0412007, EconWPA.

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