International Labor Standards: History, Theory, and Policy Options / Edition 1

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This book addresses the controversial call for international labor standards, seeking to productively further this debate by considering the economic implications and history of these standards. A result of an initiative by Professor Kaushik Basu in his capacity as member of the Expert Group of Development Issues (EGDI) sponsored by the Swedish Foreign Ministry, the contributions are based on discussions at a seminar held in Stockholm in August 2001. Compiling the best research in the field, this book provides a solid basis for policy decisions, while also serving as a challenging text for students in trade, development, and labor economics.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
‘Questions relating to international labour standards havebeen the subject of much controversy and research as several unionsand some rich-country governments have sought to advance themthrough sanctions while most poor-country governments and someimportant and sizeable democratic unions in them have opposed this.This volume is an important and timely contribution to this debate,providing scholarly and penetrating research to illuminate theissues at stake. It is a classic that must be studied by everyoneengaged in this debate.’ Jagdish Bhagwati, ColumbiaUniversity

International Labor Standards is an extremelyvaluable and wide-ranging introduction to current debates overlabor standards. The book gives a detailed history of standards; abroad and even-handed view of economic arguments for and againststandards; and serious discussion of the problem of child labor.[It] concludes with an intriguing analysis of the potential role ofthe World Trade Organization in helping to raise standards. Inplace of the vitriole and rhetoric that the debate over standardsall too often degenerates into, this volume is a seriousinvestigation of what we know and do not know in this area.’Richard Freeman, London School of Economics

‘This impressive book brings together some of the bestresearch on the important and controversial topic of internationallabor standards. The contributions are illuminating andprovocative, and they provide a valuable scientific foundation forpolicy debates.’ Kyle Bagwell, Columbia University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405105569
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/17/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Kaushik Basu is Professor of Economics and Carl MarksProfessor of International Studies in the Economics Department atCornell University. He is Editor of Social Choice and Welfare andAssociate Editor of The Journal of Economic Perspectives andThe Journal of Development Economics. He is the author of manybooks and articles, including The Less Developed Economy,(Blackwell Publishers, 1984), Lectures in IndustrialOrganization Theory (Blackwell Publishers, 1993), andAnalytical Development Economics (1997).

Henrik Horn is Professor of International Economics atStockholm University. His current research focuses on variousaspects of the WTO, with particular emphasis on the functioning ofits Dispute Settlement system.

Lisa Román is the Secretary to the Expert Group onDevelopment Issues (EGDI) and has been with the secretariat since1999. She has a background as a development economist and is theauthor of Institutions in Transition: Vietnamese State BankReform (1999).

Judith Shapiro is Professor of Health Economics at theNew Economic School, and has been a member of the EGDI since 1995.She is the author of a number of articles on Russian health, laborand mortality, and three co-authored books on transformation andintegration in Eastern Europe.

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Table of Contents

Part I.

Introduction: Kaushik Basu, Henrik Horn, Lisa Román, JudithShapiro.

Part II: The Evolution of Labor Standards:.

1. The History and Political Economy of International LaborStandards: Stanley Engerman (Rochester University).

Commentary 1.1 The Parallels Between the Past and the Present:Jane Humphries (All-Souls College, Oxford University).

Commentary 1.2 Legislation Versus Bargaining Power: TheEvolution of Scandinavian Labor Standards: Karl-Ove Moene andMichael Wallerstein (Oslo University).

Part III: The Theory of International LaborStandards:.

2. The Impact of International Labor Standards. A Survey ofEconomic Theory: Nirvikar Singh (University of California, SantaCruz).

Commentary 2.1 Old Wine in New Bottles?: T.N. Srinivasan (YaleUniversity).

Commentary 2.2 Governing Labor Relations: Tore Ellingsen(Stockholm School of Economics).

Part IV: The Issue Of Child Labor:.

3. Child Labor: Theory, Evidence and Policy: Drusilla Brown(Tufts University), Alan Deardorff (Michigan University), andRobert Stern (Michigan University).

Commentary 3.1 The Political Economy of Child Labor: AlanKrueger (Princeton University).

Commentary 3.2 Social Norms, Coordination and Policy Issues inthe Fight Against Child Labor: Luis-Felipe López-Calva (ElColegio de Mexico).

Part V: The International Organisation and Enforcementof Labor Standards:.

4. A Role For The WTO: Robert Staiger (University ofWisconsin).

Commentary 4.1 Trade and Labor Standards. To Link or Not toLink?: Alan L Winters (University of Sussex).

Commentary 4.2 The Need to Micro-Manage Regulatory Diversity:Petros Mavroidis (University of Neuchatel).


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