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Trade and Labor Standards

  • Brown, K.D.
  • Deardorff, A.V.
  • Stern, R.M.

There is a wide disparity of views on issues of international labor standards. The purpose of this paper is to explore these different views and the available options for addressing the issues involved. We conclude that there is no convincing case for incorporating labor standards into the WTO and into U.S. trade agreements. The surest way to improve labor standards is instead for the United States and other industrialized countries to maintain open markets and to encourage the growth of their developing country trading partners. Steps should also be taken to support the activities of the International Labour Organization to provide inducements and technical assistance to help developing countries raise their labor standards.

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Paper provided by Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan in its series Working Papers with number 394.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mie:wpaper:394
Contact details of provider: Postal: ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN 48109
Web page: http://fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/

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  1. Squire, Lyn & Suthiwart-Narueput, Sethaput, 1997. "The Impact of Labor Market Regulations," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 119-43, January.
  2. Stephen S. Golub, 1997. "International Labor Standards and International Trade," IMF Working Papers 97/37, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Kym Anderson, 1997. "Social Policy Dimensions of Economic Integration: Environmental and Labor Standards," NBER Chapters, in: Regionalism versus Multilateral Trade Arrangements, NBER-EASE Volume 6, pages 57-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. André Sapir, 1996. "The harmonization of social policies: lessons from European integration," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8164, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Maskus, Keith E. & Rutherford, Thomas J. & Selby, Steven, 1995. "Implications of changes in labor standards: A computational analysis for Mexico," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 171-188.
  6. Brown, D.K. & Dearorff, A.V. & Stern, R.M., 1993. "International Labor Standards and Trade: A Theoretical Analysis," Working Papers 333, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  7. André Sapir, 1995. "The Interaction Between Labour Standards and International Trade Policy," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(6), pages 791-803, November.
  8. Jagdish Bhagwati, 1995. "Trade Liberalisation and ‘Fair Trade’ Demands: Addressing the Environmental and Labour Standards Issues," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(6), pages 745-759, November.
  9. 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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