Chapter

National and International Labor Regulation

Robert J. Flanagan

in Globalization and Labor Conditions

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780195306002
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199783564 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195306007.003.0007
 National and International Labor Regulation

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This chapter evaluates the effect of globalization on the extent of a country’s labor regulation and the influence of national and international labor regulations on labor conditions. There is no evidence of an international race to the bottom in labor regulation. Other things considered equally, neither the size of a country's trade sector nor its trade policy appears to influence the extent of labor protection afforded by national labor legislation. The evidence also indicates that the system of international labor standards regulation administered by the International Labor Organization has not significantly improved labor conditions. Countries tend to ratify ILO labor standards that their domestic regulations already satisfy, rather than incurring the political costs of introducing or altering national legislation to meet higher standards. National labor regulations rarely benefit workers generally; instead some groups of workers gain at the expense of other workers.

Keywords: core labor standards; globalization; International Labor Organization; ILO; international labor standards; labor regulation; race to the bottom; trade policy

Chapter.  11678 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Economics

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