Globalization and Labor Conditions: Working Conditions and Worker Rights in a Global Economy

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This book explains how three major mechanisms of globalization international trade, international migration, and the activities of multinational companies have altered working conditions and labor rights around the world during the late 20th century. Drawing on analyses of a database on international labor conditions assembled for this project and a growing research literature on globalization and labor conditions, the book finds that trade, migration, and multinational companies are associated with improvements in world labor conditions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An impressive spectrum of the existing evidence about how globalization is affecting labor. ...makes effective use of the current literature and research dealing with globalization. The book's reference section reflects extensive research and can serve as a valuable compilation of information on the existing research and debate. For some key aspects of globalization that involve underground economies and activities for which data are very limited or missing, the author provides extensive discussion. ...[a] fine book."—Monthly Labor Review

"An excellent book evaluating a range of widely held beliefs concerning globalization's potentially adverse labor market outcomes for workers...Highly recommended."—CHOICE

Foreign Affairs
In this impressively argued, empirically supported analysis of the evolution of working conditions in today's world, the Stanford economist Flanagan addresses the contention, advanced aggressively in political discussions, that globalization worsens the conditions of labor, spurring a "race to the bottom." Based on analyses of 30 years of data from many countries, Flanagan concludes that, to the contrary, the three economic dimensions of globalization -- greater foreign trade, foreign direct investment, and international migration -- are associated with improved working conditions (higher wages, fewer hours of work, fewer accidents at work) and improved workers' rights (less child labor, greater freedom of association, less forced labor); open economies have significantly better working conditions than more closed economies. Although he does not oppose increased regulation on behalf of labor at the national or international level, Flanagan is skeptical, on the basis of the evidence, that such regulation will by itself improve the conditions of the average worker. Too often, it improves the circumstances of some workers while worsening the circumstances of others. His book offers the general advice that any proposed policy action should be evaluated on the basis of whether it enhances or narrows the opportunities available to workers. Expanded opportunities, such as those created by greater economic growth, are more likely to succeed in improving working conditions.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195306002
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/20/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Labor Conditions Around the World
3. Economic Development and Labor Conditions
4. Trade and Labor Conditions
5. International Migration and Labor Conditions
6. Multinational Corporations and Labor Conditions
7. National and International Labor Regulation
8. Taking Stock and Looking Ahead

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