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Globalisation and Labour Markets: Policy Issues Arising from the Emergence of China and India

Listed author(s):
  • David T. Coe

Globalisation is having important effects on labour markets in OECD countries. The global supply of labour has increased enormously with the emergence of China and India. At the same time technological advances have contributed to heightened income inequality and changed the nature of globalisation itself, most vividly demonstrated by the rapid growth of offshoring of business services that were previously nontradable. It is argued in this paper that these developments are best characterized as an intensification and broadening of the process of globalisation rather than a fundamental change in the nature of globalisation. They will, nevertheless, have long-lasting effects on OECD labour markets, increasing the urgency of implementing the labour market policies set out in the Restated OECD Job Strategy. The paper concludes that the most important implication of the emergence of China and India in the context of widespread perceptions of increasing economic inequality may be to reduce support for globalisation in OECD countries. La mondialisation a des effets importants sur les marchés du travail des pays de l’OCDE. L’offre mondiale de main-d'œuvre a augmenté considérablement avec l’émergence de la Chine et l’Inde. Dans le même temps, les progrès technologiques ont contribué à renforcer les inégalités de revenus et ont changé la nature même de la mondialisation, comme en témoigne la croissance rapide de la délocalisation des services aux entreprises, qui étaient auparavant non-échangeables. On fait valoir dans ce document que ces évolutions correspondent plus à une intensification et un élargissement du processus de mondialisation qu'à un changement fondamental de nature de la mondialisation. Elles auront, néanmoins, des effets durables sur les marchés du travail dans les pays de l'OCDE, et renforcent de ce fait l'urgence de mettre en œuvre les politiques du marché du travail identifiées dans «La stratégie de l'OCDE pour l'emploi révisée ». Le document conclut que, dans un contexte de perception accrue de croissance des inégalités économiques, la principale conséquence de l’émergence de la Chine et l’Inde peut être de réduire le soutien à la mondialisation dans les pays de l’OCDE.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers with number 63.

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Date of creation: 09 Nov 2007
Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaab:63-en
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