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Les normes fondamentales du travail contribuent-elles à réduire les inégalités ?

  • Rémi Bazillier

    (TEAM – Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne)

  • Nicolas Sirven

    (GED, Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV)

Cet article propose une investigation empirique des liens qu’entretiennent normes sociales et inégalité de revenus. Dans un premier temps, un indice de normes sociales du travail (travail des enfants, travail forcé, discrimination, liberté syndicale, conventions OIT) est déterminé. Aucun lien n’est trouvé a priori avec l’inégalité. Ceci s’explique par la différence entre la ratification des traités internationaux sur les normes sociales et la mise en place effective de ces normes par les pays signataires. C’est pourquoi, dans un second temps les normes sociales sont endogénéisées au moyen de variables instrumentales. Un nouvel indicateur de normes effectives est obtenu comme un output de l’efficacité du système politique et juridique. Il est en effet plus probable que les pays qui jouissent de meilleures institutions soient plus aptes à mettre en place effectivement des normes sociales. L’endogénéisation des normes sociales permet de mettre en évidence l’existence d’une courbe de Kuznets entre les normes et les inégalités de revenu pour 90 pays sur la période 1990-2001. Les normes sociales sont ainsi mobilisées comme facteur explicatif intermédiaire pour interpréter la courbe de Kuznets. This study empirically investigates the impact of core labour standards on income inequality for a range of 90 countries from 1990 to 2001. We focus on the four core labour standards (prohibition of child labour, freedom of association and collective bargaining, prohibition of discrimination, and prohibition of forced labour) defined by ILO and OECD. The number of ILO conventions ratified is added to the four previous variables with the aim to compute a synthetic index of labour standards by means of a Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA). This index is then inserted as an independent variable in an econometric model to test for its relationships with the Gini index. No significant correlation is found among the different econometric specifications. One of the reasons pointed out is that there is a difference between norms de jure and de facto. In other words, the exogeneity of the index does not distinguish countries that implement effective social norms from those that just ratify the treaties. We actually assume that the effective implementation of core labour standards depends on the quality of the country’s political and legal systems. The endogeneity bias in the first step models is corrected using instrumental variables in a TSLS model. We found that the relationship between the new endogenous index of core labour standards and income inequality follows a inversed ‘U’ shaped curve. This result let us think of a social Kuznets curve. (Full text in french)

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Paper provided by Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV in its series Documents de travail with number 123.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:mon:ceddtr:123
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