Jobs and incomes in a globalizing world

Examines the effects of globalization on jobs, wages and incomes in industrialized and developing countries. Focuses on the 1980s and 1990s.

"I find this volume to offer an eclectic, non-doctrinaire perspective on the debate on globalization and its impact on workers. Thus, I have decided to adopt it as a required text for the course I teach to undergraduates and professional masters' students. I also carried it with me recently to a professional conference to show my colleagues what position an ILO researcher has now found fit to take (and the ILO has now found fit to publish)."
Gary S. Fields, Cornell University, Industrial Relations, 2005, Canada

The consequences of globalization, particularly for employment, wages and incomes, arouse widespread concern. This book investigates the basis for these anxieties by focusing on the core of globalization – the growing two-way trade in manufactures between North and South. Its conclusions set fresh parameters for the globalization debate. 

Presenting results of new research, the author shows that, contrary to popular perceptions, global income inequality is actually declining, South-North migration is falling, and job opportunities and wages are rising in a significant number of developing countries. Moreover, the author finds no evidence of a global decline in labour standards, nor that globalization can be blamed for unemployment among the low skilled in industrialized countries.

While showing many of the public concerns about globalization to be unfounded, the research reveals other serious problems that until now have been paid scant attention, such as increasing marginalization of the poorest countries heavily dependent on exports of primary commodities, a worrying level of “brain drain” from poor to rich countries, and potentially high costs of premature integration. 

This important book points to difficult challenges that the international community must meet if the potential benefits of globalization are to be fully realized and if all nations and people are to share in them.