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Full-Text Articles in International Economics

Experimentation And Decentralization In China’S Labor Relations, Eli D. Friedman, Sarosh Kuruvilla Feb 2015

Experimentation And Decentralization In China’S Labor Relations, Eli D. Friedman, Sarosh Kuruvilla

Articles and Chapters

In this introduction to the special issue ‘Changing work, labour and employment relations in China’, we argue that China is taking an experimental and decentralized approach to the development of new labor relations frameworks. Particular political constraints in China prevent interest aggregation among workers, as the central state sees this as posing a risk to social stability. Firms and local governments have been given a degree of space to experiment with different arrangements, as long as the categorical ban on independent unions is not violated. The consequence has been an increasingly differentiated labor relations landscape, with significant variation by region ...


Aid, Growth And Jobs, Gary S. Fields Jan 2015

Aid, Growth And Jobs, Gary S. Fields

Articles and Chapters

Various development objectives are worthy, but one objective merits special attention: reducing the scourge of absolute economic misery in the world. This study focuses on an important but relatively underemphasized approach to poverty reduction: helping the poor earn more in the labour market for the work they do, so that they can buy the goods and services they need to move up out of poverty. The core of the study is divided into three sections: defining the global poverty challenge and the world’s employment problem, presenting policy options for improving employment outcomes for the poor, and suggesting ways of ...


From Pyramids To Diamonds: Legal Process Offshoring, Employment Systems, And Labor Markets For Lawyers In The United States And India, Sarosh Kuruvilla, Ernesto Noronha Jan 2015

From Pyramids To Diamonds: Legal Process Offshoring, Employment Systems, And Labor Markets For Lawyers In The United States And India, Sarosh Kuruvilla, Ernesto Noronha

Articles and Chapters

In this article, the authors argue that offshoring of legal work from the United States has contributed to the fracturing of the long-established internal labor market arrangements in large U.S. law firms. Drawing on evidence from the United States and India on legal employment, the growth of offshoring, and the rapidly changing nature of work that is offshored, the authors contend that the changes in employment systems in law firms are likely to be permanent, in contrast to other researchers who suggest they are temporary adjustments to the financial crisis. As U.S. law firms are dismantling their internal ...


Globalization, Industrialization And Labour Markets In China, Miao Zhang, Rajah Rasiah, Sarosh Kuruvilla Jan 2015

Globalization, Industrialization And Labour Markets In China, Miao Zhang, Rajah Rasiah, Sarosh Kuruvilla

Articles and Chapters

China’s experience with globalization is still contested. This paper seeks to examine the impact of global integration and industrialization on labour markets in China. The evidence shows that rising trade and flows of foreign direct investment has not only quickened industrialization and structural change but it has also stimulated a rapid rise in overall and manufacturing real wages. The government’s framework of absorbing marketization while maintaining planning control through decentralization has been critical in the development of technological capabilities in manufacturing. Although the nature of economic development after reforms has also widened regional inequalities with the Eastern coastal ...


Earnings Mobility, Inequality, And Economic Growth In Argentina, Mexico, And Venezuela, Gary S. Fields, Robert Duval-Hernandez, Samuel Freije, Maria Laura Sanchez Puerta Jan 2015

Earnings Mobility, Inequality, And Economic Growth In Argentina, Mexico, And Venezuela, Gary S. Fields, Robert Duval-Hernandez, Samuel Freije, Maria Laura Sanchez Puerta

Articles and Chapters

This paper examines changes in individual earnings during positive and negative growth periods in three Latin American economies: Argentina, Mexico, and Venezuela. We ask two major questions. First, do panel income changes favor the income recipients who started at the top of the income distribution (“divergent mobility”) or those who started at the bottom (“convergent mobility”)? And second, are the groups that are found to gain the most when the economy is growing those that are found to lose the most when the economy is contracting (“symmetry of mobility”) or is the pattern asymmetric in the sense that the same ...


Alienated Politics: Labour Insurgency And The Paternalistic State In China, Eli D. Friedman Sep 2014

Alienated Politics: Labour Insurgency And The Paternalistic State In China, Eli D. Friedman

Articles and Chapters

Is there a labour movement in China? This contribution argues that China does not have a labour movement, but that contestation between workers, state and capital is best characterized as a form of ‘alienated politics’. Widespread worker resistance is highly effective at the level of the firm be-cause of its ability to inflict losses on capital and disrupt public order. But authoritarian politics in China prevent workers from formulating political demands. Despite the spectacular repressive capacity of the state, the central government has in fact responded to highly localized resistance by passing generally pro-labour legislation over the past decade. The ...


Self-Employment And Poverty In Developing Countries, Gary S. Fields May 2014

Self-Employment And Poverty In Developing Countries, Gary S. Fields

Articles and Chapters

A key way for the world’s poor—nearly half of humanity—to escape poverty is to earn more for their labor. Most of the world’s poor people are self-employed, but because there are few opportunities in most developing countries for them to earn enough to escape poverty, they are working hard but working poor. Two key policy planks in the fight against poverty should be: raising the returns to self-employment and creating more opportunities to move from self-employment into higher paying wage employment.


Segmented Labour Markets In South Africa, Gary S. Fields Jan 2014

Segmented Labour Markets In South Africa, Gary S. Fields

Articles and Chapters

[Excerpt] The textbook labour market model aggregates all workers, all employers and all sectors of the economy into a single labour market. In this single labour market, workers supply labour, employers demand labour and the rate of pay (termed wage for shorthand) is determined by the intersection of supply and demand.

Segmented labour market analysis proceeds from a different starting point. Workers, employers and sectors are not aggregated together. Rather, two or more labour market segments are identified, the groupings reflecting fundamental differences in how labour supply, labour demand and wage-determination mechanisms operate in different segments. For example, in the ...


Insurgency And Institutionalization: The Polanyian Countermovement And Chinese Labor Politics, Eli D. Friedman May 2013

Insurgency And Institutionalization: The Polanyian Countermovement And Chinese Labor Politics, Eli D. Friedman

Articles and Chapters

Why is it that in the nearly 10 years since the Chinese central government began making symbolic and material moves towards class compromise that labor unrest has expanded greatly? In this article I reconfigure Karl Polanyi's theory of the countermovement to account for recent developments in Chinese labor politics. Specifically, I argue that countermovements must be broken down into two constituent but intertwined "moments": the insurgent moment that consists of spontaneous resistance to the market, and the institutional moment, when class compromise is established in the economic and political spheres. In China, the transition from insurgency to institutionalization has ...


Globalization, Sarosh Kuruvilla, Tashlin Lakhani Jan 2013

Globalization, Sarosh Kuruvilla, Tashlin Lakhani

Articles and Chapters

[Excerpt] While the chapters in the previous section examined employment relations in different national contexts, in this chapter we focus on employment relations in the international or global context. We begin by outlining different perspectives on globalization and examine how globalization has evolved over time. Based on this discussion, we provide a definition of globalization which best accounts for contemporary patterns of global interdependence. We then provide a brief overview of the arguments for and against globalization and discuss the implications that economic globalization presents for employment relations.


Getting Through The Hard Times Together? Chinese Workers And Unions Respond To The Economic Crisis, Eli D. Friedman Sep 2012

Getting Through The Hard Times Together? Chinese Workers And Unions Respond To The Economic Crisis, Eli D. Friedman

Articles and Chapters

How do post-socialist unions respond to market crisis? And what are the implications of this response for labor representation? Drawing on literature on post-socialist labor and union democracy, I argue that economic crisis affects not just labor – capital and labor – state relations, but also the relationship between union representatives and workers. Such a dynamic is highlighted by an empirical account of the divergent activities of workers and All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) unions in China following the economic crisis of 2008. While the union responded to mass unemployment with an administrative and policy-oriented strategy, workers took to the streets ...


Challenges And Policy Lessons For The Growth-Employment-Poverty Nexus In Developing Countries, Gary S. Fields Jan 2012

Challenges And Policy Lessons For The Growth-Employment-Poverty Nexus In Developing Countries, Gary S. Fields

Articles and Chapters

Productivity growth and structural change are generally considered to be important determinants of economic growth. However recent research revealed that they do not necessarily lead to higher growth and employment rates. Recent studies, drawing on data from developing countries, showed that only the “right” kind of productivity growth resulted in higher employment rates. Enterprises in Africa and Latin America caught up in matters of technology; however, this process resulted in a substitution of employment by technology. The same is true for structural change; only the “right” kind of structural change caused more growth and employment. Whereas in Asia, labour shifted ...


Tripartism And Economic Reforms In Singapore And South Korea, Sarosh Kuruvilla, Mingwei Liu Jan 2009

Tripartism And Economic Reforms In Singapore And South Korea, Sarosh Kuruvilla, Mingwei Liu

Articles and Chapters

[Excerpt] The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of peak-level tripartism on economic reforms in Singapore and South Korea. Specifically, the paper attempts to answer the question of whether tripartism alters the pace, the sequence, the mix, or the content of economic reforms or the environment in which the reforms are implemented. It also seeks to obtain evidence on the impact of tripartism on specific measurable outcomes.


Earnings Mobility In Times Of Growth And Decline: Argentina From 1996 To 2003, Gary S. Fields, María Laura Sánchez Puerta Dec 2008

Earnings Mobility In Times Of Growth And Decline: Argentina From 1996 To 2003, Gary S. Fields, María Laura Sánchez Puerta

Articles and Chapters

In recent years, the economy of Argentina has experienced both rapid economic growth and severe economic decline. In this paper, we use a series of one-year long panels to study who gained the most in pesos when the economy grew and who lost the most in pesos when the economy contracted. Various considerations led us to expect that mobility would be divergent—that is, that the individuals who started with the highest initial earnings would enjoy the largest earnings gains in pesos. Contrary to expectations and for a wide range of specifications, mobility is found to be mostly convergent, sometimes ...


Taiwan’S Private Sector Labour Market Prior To 1996, Gary S. Fields Jan 2007

Taiwan’S Private Sector Labour Market Prior To 1996, Gary S. Fields

Articles and Chapters

[Excerpt] Analysis of the inter-industry earnings differentials revealed that these differentials were quite small by international standards, and indeed, that earnings were rising at roughly the same rate in every sector of the labour market in Taiwan. Wage differentials in Taiwan's private sector are generally in line with the economy as a whole; quite small by international standards, with real wages rising at very similar rates throughout all of the major private sector industries, whilst also demonstrating similar growth and decline patterns. For example, the agricultural sector in Taiwan is a declining sector of the economy, relative to non-agriculture ...


International Migration In Macro-Perspective: Bringing Power Back In, Marcel Paret, Shannon Gleeson Jan 2006

International Migration In Macro-Perspective: Bringing Power Back In, Marcel Paret, Shannon Gleeson

Articles and Chapters

This paper challenges the inward looking perspective of recent immigration research by situating migration to the United States within a global and historical context. This macro-stratification perspective breaks out of the confines of national contexts to explore how international migration is shaped by global power divides. We argue that in order to fully understand international migration, it is necessary to account for both the emergence of global power structures and the historical domination of Europe. We develop our argument by first outlining the significance of global power divides, with a particular focus on the United States. We then demonstrate how ...


From Transformation To Revitalization: A New Research Agenda For A Contested Global Economy, Lowell Turner Jan 2005

From Transformation To Revitalization: A New Research Agenda For A Contested Global Economy, Lowell Turner

Articles and Chapters

[Excerpt] The revitalization perspective is hardly new. With deep roots in both labor movement history and industrial relations research, such work was marginalized for much of the postwar period both in union strategy and in the field of industrial relations. What is new is the rather sudden arrival of revitalization research in the mainstream of industrial relations along with a broader literature on contentious politics in a global economy (e.g., Klein, 2002; Delia Porta & Tarrow, 2004). This introductory article offers an overview of the revitalization perspective, deepened in relevance by contemporary struggles for democratic representation in the modern workplace ...


Long-Term Economic Mobility And The Private Sector In Developing Countries: New Evidence, Gary S. Fields, Walter S. Bagg Jan 2003

Long-Term Economic Mobility And The Private Sector In Developing Countries: New Evidence, Gary S. Fields, Walter S. Bagg

Articles and Chapters

[Excerpt] Consistent with the mainstream view of economic growth as a factor promoting long-term economic mobility, we hypothesize that those economies in which economic growth has been most rapid are precisely the ones that have achieved the greatest progress toward poverty reduction through improved labor market conditions, especially in private employment. We also hypothesize that the positive relationship running from economic growth through the labor market to poverty reduction continued to hold in the 1990s in essentially the same way as in earlier years when globalization was less intense. Both hypotheses are confirmed by our data. Our results therefore cast ...


Escaping From Poverty: Household Income Dynamics In Indonesia, South Africa, Spain, And Venezuela, Gary S. Fields, Paul L. Cichello, Samuel Freije, Marta Menéndez, David Newhouse Jan 2003

Escaping From Poverty: Household Income Dynamics In Indonesia, South Africa, Spain, And Venezuela, Gary S. Fields, Paul L. Cichello, Samuel Freije, Marta Menéndez, David Newhouse

Articles and Chapters

[Excerpt] This study presents the main results of a larger, more technical report (Fields and others 2001) and subsequent work (Fields and others 2002) that analyzes income mobility in Indonesia, South Africa, Spain, and Venezuela. These economies were selected on the basis of the availability of panel data with which to analyze household income dynamics in the 1990s. By following households over time, we are able to investigate how households that were poor initially fared economically, relative to their richer counterparts. We can learn more about how and why households exit—and enter—poverty.

To gauge income mobility, this study ...


Ensuring A Decent Global Workplace: Labor Rights Belong In Trade Agreements, Lance A. Compa Aug 2001

Ensuring A Decent Global Workplace: Labor Rights Belong In Trade Agreements, Lance A. Compa

Articles and Chapters

[Excerpt] Linking workers' rights to international trade is an idea whose time has come and stayed, despite the best efforts of free trade ideologues to chase it away. In looming congressional debates about "fast track" negotiating authority, the Bush administration and Congress confront powerful demands from workers, trade unionists and a wider public for rules protecting human rights and labor rights, not just corporate investments, in trade agreements.


Are African Workers Getting Ahead In The New South Africa? Evidence From Kwazulu-Natal, 1993-1998, Paul L. Cichello, Gary S. Fields, Murray Leibbrandt Jan 2001

Are African Workers Getting Ahead In The New South Africa? Evidence From Kwazulu-Natal, 1993-1998, Paul L. Cichello, Gary S. Fields, Murray Leibbrandt

Articles and Chapters

[Excerpt] In this paper, we use the KIDS panel data to answer three questions about the ‘progress’ of African workers in this one province in post-apartheid South Africa. First, how have African workers progressed as a group? Secondly, which African workers have progressed the most, and by how much have they progressed? Thirdly, to what extent is the progress made by workers driven by transitions between employment and unemployment, or between informal and formal sector employment? We reach the following major findings. First, African workers in KwaZulu-Natal had quite diverse experiences, but experienced positive progress on average. Second, those who ...


The Employment Problem In South Africa, Gary S. Fields Dec 2000

The Employment Problem In South Africa, Gary S. Fields

Articles and Chapters

South Africa is experiencing a major employment problem that includes not only unemployment, but also low labour market earnings. In this article, Gary Fields discusses what can be done to alleviate South Africa's employment problem.


Review Of Income Distribution And High-Quality Growth, Gary S. Fields Jan 2000

Review Of Income Distribution And High-Quality Growth, Gary S. Fields

Articles and Chapters

[Excerpt] This volume contains the papers from a 1995 conference on income distribution and economic growth sponsored by the International Monetary Fund. The editors are Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department at the IMF (Tanzi) and a Senior Advisor in the same department (Chu).


Economic And Demographic Aspects Of Taiwan's Rising Family Income Inequality, Gary S. Fields Jan 1999

Economic And Demographic Aspects Of Taiwan's Rising Family Income Inequality, Gary S. Fields

Articles and Chapters

[Excerpt] Since 1980, however, family income inequality in Taiwan has risen slowly but steadily. In this chapter, we apply decomposition methodologies devised by Fei and co-authors and by Shorrocks to Taiwan's Family Income and Expenditure Surveys to quantify the sources of Taiwan's rising family income inequality.

Our principal finding is that labor income inequality accounts for more than 100 percent of the observed change— that is, household income inequality would have increased even more had not business income, property income and transfer income contributed to an equalization of incomes. However, the reason for this is not that individual ...


The Migration Transition In Asia, Gary S. Fields Jan 1994

The Migration Transition In Asia, Gary S. Fields

Articles and Chapters

[Excerpt] This theoretical discussion of the migration transition is Asia develops a framework to understand the turning point from labor exporter to labor importer experienced by the Asian NIEs (Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan). The author concludes that the NIEs' demand for labor curve shifted rapidly, primarily due to export-led growth of a labor-intensive character. Because these economies are well integrated, improvements in labor market conditions in individual sectors are transmitted to all workers, discouraging emigration. Despite industry's efforts to mitigate wage increases through labor import, new technology or relocation overseas, the rapidly improving domestic earnings opportunities induced ...


Swedish Wage-Earner Funds: An Experiment In Economic Democracy, Jonas Pontusson, Sarosh Kuruvilla Jul 1992

Swedish Wage-Earner Funds: An Experiment In Economic Democracy, Jonas Pontusson, Sarosh Kuruvilla

Articles and Chapters

This article analyzes the performance of the "wage-earner funds" established in Sweden in 1983 - collective share-holding funds financed by special payroll and profits taxes. The authors' analysis indicates that although the wage-earner funds generally met the financial objectives set by the 1983 legislation, their significance in promoting "wage solidarity" (wage determination based on the work performed rather than on firm or industry profitability) and in providing workers with substantial influence over corporate decisions was limited by the size of their stockholdings and the seven-year (1984-90) restriction on the inflow of revenues into the funds. The authors conclude that the funds ...


Import Competition In The High-Wage Sector And Trade Policy Effects On Labor, Gary S. Fields, Earl L. Grinols Jan 1991

Import Competition In The High-Wage Sector And Trade Policy Effects On Labor, Gary S. Fields, Earl L. Grinols

Articles and Chapters

This article evaluates the employment and welfare effects of increased trade competition and protection in economies with wage dualism, unemployment, and on-the-job search. A micro-based measure of economy welfare distinguishes between workers and other sectors of the economy is developed to deal with labor market imperfections and distributional issues. For example, increased competition in high-wage sector goods reduces high-wage employment, but may or may not increase overall unemployment. Policy may be chosen to mitigate loss in worker earnings that are partly or wholly offset by gains to consumers of the importable.


The Impact Of Government Policies On Urban Employment In Small Economies, Gary S. Fields Jan 1989

The Impact Of Government Policies On Urban Employment In Small Economies, Gary S. Fields

Articles and Chapters

[Excerpt] Most of the policies intended to affect urban employment are not specifically employment policies nor are they specifically urban. Rather, the amount of urban employment, the composition of that employment, and the returns from it are determined by a whole host of policies. To review them all in a short paper is an impossible undertaking. The criterion by which I decided which policies to consider is policy-relevance, asking which set of policies is apt to have the largest impact on employment.


Wage-Setting Institutions And Economic Growth, Gary S. Fields, Henry Wan Jr. Jan 1989

Wage-Setting Institutions And Economic Growth, Gary S. Fields, Henry Wan Jr.

Articles and Chapters

Wage-setting institutions in several Asian and Latin American economies are compared and contrasted. The Asian economies have relied more on market wage determination, whereas the Latin American economies have encouraged institutions which push wages in key sectors up above market-clearing levels. Market wage determination, combined with export-led growth, has resulted in rapidly rising real wages in the context of full employment in the Asian economies. The Latin American economies have done less well.


Employment, Income Distribution And Economic Growth In Seven Small Open Economies, Gary S. Fields Jan 1984

Employment, Income Distribution And Economic Growth In Seven Small Open Economies, Gary S. Fields

Articles and Chapters

[Excerpt] Resurgent interest has been manifested among development economists in trickle-down, i.e., the view that the more rapid the rate of economic growth, the more rapid the improvement in employment and income distribution. Throughout this paper, the term ‘income distribution’ will refer to the location and dispersion of the pattern of incomes, i.e., to ‘absolute incomes and poverty’ and to ‘relative income inequality’. Empirical evidence supports trickle-down in some cases, but the evidence is contrary to trickle-down in others.

These data indicate:

  1. A high rate of economic growth is neither necessary nor sufficient for inequality to decline.
  2. A ...