The Launch of a New Publication: “Trade and Employment: From Myths to Facts”

In the era of globalization most economists and policy-makers have asserted, that trade liberalization has a strong potential to contribute to growth and that those effects will be beneficial for employment. However, survey evidence illustrates that negative perceptions of the labour market effects of trade are frequent and persistent among the population, in particular in the industrialized world but increasingly also in developing countries.

In the era of globalization most economists and policy-makers have asserted, that trade liberalization has a strong potential to contribute to growth and that those effects will be beneficial for employment. However, survey evidence illustrates that negative perceptions of the labour market effects of trade are frequent and persistent among the population, in particular in the industrialized world but increasingly also in developing countries.

Consisting of six chapters, the book aims to contribute to filling some of the gaps by taking stock of the existing evidence on trade and employment with a focus on work using recent methodologies and datasets and on work that pays special attention to the functioning of labour markets. Much of the material discussed is based on country-specific studies and emphasis is put on a number of themes that receive little attention in the mainstream trade-and-employment literature, such as the question of the gender aspects of trade or the link between trade and the informal economy.

The book also raises important questions regarding the role of government in providing assistance to enterprises in the context of global competitiveness, the role of the labour force in enhancing the competitiveness and in improving export diversification as well as the role of social protection schemes in facilitating the adjustment of labour markets affected by the changes of trade policies or by major trade shocks.

The book will be presented by one of the editors, Marion Jansen, Head of the Trade and Employment Programme, ILO Geneva. In addition to the book presentation, country-specific simulations will also be held regarding the free trade agreement between Indonesia – China, Indonesia – India and Indonesia – Australia, followed by discussions on how to enhance the competitiveness of Indonesia and to facilitate Indonesian labour market adjustment.