Trade and Employment: From Myths to Facts - ILO-EC publication

The edited volume “Trade and Employment: From Myths to Facts” is the outcome of a joint project of the European Commission and the International Labour Office. The book contributes to promoting the advancement of employment, decent work and social cohesion in developing countries by assisting policy makers and social partners in anticipating and addressing the effects of trade reforms on employment


Trade negotiations – bilateral, regional or multilateral – routinely lead to debates on the implications for employment. There are promises of new and better jobs as well as concerns over job losses and pressure on wages and labour rights. Factual assessments of the employment and distributional impacts of trade agreements are, however, too often missing.
This edited volume tries to address this disconnect between the prominence of trade and employment linkages in the public debate and the relative absence of factual assessments of the employment implications of trade by taking stock of the most recent evidence, and by providing guidance on the design of tools to assess the employment impacts of trade.
The book argues in favour of strengthening the micro-foundations of models used to evaluate the employment effects of trade and in favour of including the informal economy and adjustment processes in modelling efforts. It also emphasizes the role of governments in helping firms survive or grow, in providing social protection to protect against external shocks, in addressing gender equity and in building physical infrastructure and human skills bases that facilitate export diversification. The book will prove to be useful for all those who are interested in the debate on the employment effects of trade: workers and employers, academics and policy-makers, and trade and labour specialists.