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Index of Volumes

VOLUME 136, NUMBER 2 1997/2



Inequality, unemployment and contemporary Europe, by Amartya SEN

Unemployment penalizes people well beyond the obvious financial aspect of income loss, a loss which transfer payments can offset. The unemployed are liable to suffer psychological harm, social exclusion and family breakdown, and loss of skills, motivation and political voice. These entail major social costs when unemployment is massive, as it is now in many European countries. Related but even less apparent costs include exacerbated racial and gender inequality, technological conservatism and the premature retirement of able-bodied adults. Thus, Sen argues, the penalties of unemployment are enormous and reducing unemployment would contribute to solving many of Europe's social ills.

Globalization and labour standards: A review of issues, by Eddy LEE

The article examines some of the major contending positions in the ongoing debate on the role of international labour standards in the context of globalization. It covers the debate in international political fora and in recent economic analyses on the desirability and feasibility of a social clause, the impact of core labour standards on competitiveness and economic development, and the relative merits of alternative instruments for achieving a fuller observance of core labour standards. It shows that a wide gulf still prevails between contending positions and that the empirical evidence to resolve some of these differences remains limited and inconclusive.

The employment intensity of economic growth in the G-7 countries, by Samanta PADALINO and Marco VIVARELLI

The employment consequences of technological change are addressed here, theoretically and empirically. Using French "regulation theory" as a framework, the authors contrast the arguments linking employment growth with economic growth to those of "jobless growth". They analyse the whole economy and manufacturing-sector performance in the G-7 countries during the Fordist "Golden Age" (1960-73) and post-Fordist (1980-94) periods. While there are some signs of a weakened employment/growth relationship in the manufacturing sector in the short term, they find no historical tendency towards such a weakening overall. Thus the solution to employment problems, they argue, is to foster aggregate economic growth.

Social labelling to combat child labour: Some considerations, by Janet HILOWITZ

What is the value of labels assuring consumers that certain products they buy are not made with child labour? How do such labels relate to codes of conduct and other market-based initiatives that may benefit children indirectly? In this article Janet Hilowitz explains the history and nature of social labels, highlights several labelling initiatives, and discusses the issues such as the inherently limited coverage, monitoring compliance, and the fate of child workers that have a bearing on whether social labels will have a longer-term role as one of the means of confronting the problem of child labour.


Child labour: How the challenge is being met


Updated by MCN. Approved by MFL. Last update: 9 November 1999.