Trade and Labor Conditions

Robert J. Flanagan

in Globalization and Labor Conditions

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780195306002
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199783564 | DOI:
 Trade and Labor Conditions

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This chapter examines the effect of international trade on labor conditions around the world. Evidence developed in the chapter shows that open trade policies improve working conditions by raising per capita income, as international trade theory predicts. Countries with open trade policies also have superior labor rights, and labor rights improve over time in countries that adopt open trade policies. In the short run, trade clearly enhances the working conditions of workers in export industries (including those working in export processing zones) but threatens the conditions of workers whose companies compete with imports. The evidence shows that with the passage of time, all workers benefit by moving into more productive employment settings. The evidence in this chapter implies that trade sanctions are likely to worsen labor conditions in target countries.

Keywords: closed trade policies; export processing zones; free trade; international trade; international trade theories; labor conditions; labor rights; open trade policies; trade sanctions; working conditions

Chapter.  14001 words. 

Subjects: International Economics

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