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Globalization and workers in developing countries

  • Rama, Martin

Stories on the positive and negative effects of globalization on workers in developing countries abound. But a comprehensive picture is missing and many of the stories are ideologically charged. This paper reviews the academic literature on the subject, including several studies currently under way, and derives the implications for public policy. First, it deals with the effects of openness to trade, foreign direct investment, and financial crises on average wages. Second, it discusses the impact of exposure to world markets on the dispersion of wages by occupation, skill, and gender. Third, it describes the pattern of job destruction and job creation associated with globalization. Because these two processes are not synchronized, the fourth issue addressed is the impact on unemployment rates. Fifth, the paper reviews the labor market policies that can be used to offset the adverse effects of globalization on employment and labor earnings. Finally, it discusses how the international community could encourage developing countries to adopt sound labor market policies in the contextof globalization.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2958.

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Date of creation: 31 Jan 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2958
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  1. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "Transfer Benefits from Public-Works Employment: Evidence for Rural India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1346-69, November.
  2. Malathy Duraisamy, 2000. "Child Schooling and Child Work in India," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0837, Econometric Society.
  3. Kristin F. Butcher & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 2001. "Wage Effects of Unions and Industrial Councils in South Africa," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(2), pages 349-374, January.
  4. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2001. "Trade, growth, and poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2615, The World Bank.
  6. Alvaro Forteza & Martin Rama, 2006. "Labor Market 'Rigidity' and the Success of Economic Reforms Across More Than 100 Countries," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 75-105.
  7. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 1998. "The simple economics of labor standards and the Gatt," Working papers 9, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  8. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Is Child Labor Inefficient?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 663-679, August.
  9. William T. Dickens & Kevin Lang, 1991. "An Analysis of the Nature of Unemployment in Sri Lanka," NBER Working Papers 3777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Beyer, Harald & Rojas, Patricio & Vergara, Rodrigo, 1999. "Trade liberalization and wage inequality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 103-123, June.
  11. Aitken, B. & Harrison, A. & Lipsey, R.E., 1995. "Wages and Foreign Ownership: A Comparative Study of Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States," Papers 95-21, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  12. Cameron, Lisa A & Worswick, Christopher, 2001. "Education Expenditure Responses to Crop Loss in Indonesia: A Gender Bias," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 351-63, January.
  13. Anderson, Kym, 1996. "Social Policy Dimensions of Economic Integration: Environmental and Labour Standards," CEPR Discussion Papers 1440, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Assaad, Ragui, 1997. "The Effects of Public Sector Hiring and Compensation Policies on the Egyptian Labor Market," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 85-118, January.
  15. Assaad, Ragui, 1999. "Matching Severance Payments with Worker Losses in the Egyptian Public Sector," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(1), pages 117-53, January.
  16. Krishna, Pravin & Mitra, Devashish & Chinoy, Sajjid, 2001. "Trade liberalization and labor demand elasticities: evidence from Turkey," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 391-409, December.
  17. 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.
  18. Basu, Kaushik, 1998. "Child labor : cause, consequence, and cure, with remarks on International Labor Standards," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2027, The World Bank.
  19. Fallon, Peter R & Lucas, Robert E B, 1991. "The Impact of Changes in Job Security Regulations in India and Zimbabwe," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(3), pages 395-413, September.
  20. Takatoshi Ito & Anne O. Krueger, 1997. "Regionalism versus Multilateral Trade Arrangements, NBER-EASE Volume 6," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ito_97-1.
  21. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 2001. "U.S. Trade and Other Policy Options and Programs to Deter Foreign Exploitation of Child Labor," NBER Chapters, in: Topics in Empirical International Economics: A Festschrift in Honor of Robert E. Lipsey, pages 233-262 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Richard B. Freeman & Remco Oostendorp, 2000. "Wages Around the World: Pay Across Occupations and Countries," NBER Working Papers 8058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Belser, Patrick & Rama, Martin, 2001. "State ownership and labor redundancy - estimates based on enterprise-level data from Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2599, The World Bank.
  24. Bell, Linda A, 1997. "The Impact of Minimum Wages in Mexico and Colombia," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages S102-35, July.
  25. Fretwell, David H. & Benus, Jacob & O'Leary, Christopher J., 1999. "Evaluating the impact of active labor programs : results of cross country studies in Europe and Central Asia," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20131, The World Bank.
  26. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  27. Alvaro Forteza & Martín Rama, 2000. "Labor Market "Rigidity" and the Success of Economic Reforms Across more than One Hundred Countries," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0600, Department of Economics - dECON.
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