The social impact of globalization in the developing countries
Eddy LEE and Marco VIVARELLI
Based on an extensive literature survey, the authors investigate the impact of increasing foreign direct investment and trade openness on employment, income inequality and poverty in developing countries. The first conclusion they reach is that the current wave of globalization does not automatically produce the positive effects predicted by standard trade theory. Particular outcomes tend to be country- or sector-specific. A developing country’s ability to benefit from globalization, while avoiding negative effects, is determined by institutional and endowment factors that can be addressed by sound policy-making. The article concludes with some suggestions aimed at maximizing positive effects in this way.
Keywords: globalization, employment, poverty alleviation, income distribution.
Free trade agreements and labour rights: Recent developments
Cleopatra DOUMBIA-HENRY and Eric GRAVEL
While the linking of trade liberalization with protection of workers’ rights remains controversial, the practice of including labour clauses in free trade agreements is gaining currency. Reviewing wider efforts to promote labour standards and in fine the economic and other arguments for doing so, the authors examine the labour clauses contained in recent trade argeements, focusing on their effectiveness in protecting internationally recognized workers’ rights. Some agreements offer promising avenues for promoting these rights (e.g. trade incentives, capacity building) but their principal weakness lies in supervision, particularly in countries that have not ratified the relevant ILO Conventions.
Keywords: workers’ rights, international labour standards, trade agreement, free trade area.
The Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations: Progress achieved in national labour legislation
Isabelle BOIVIN and Alberto ODERO
The Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations was created 80 years ago to assist the International Labour Conference in its task of supervising the application of ILO instruments by member States. The Committee of Experts is composed of renowned legal experts. The authors illustrate how the comments prepared by this Committee have contributed to improving national legislation in the areas of freedom of association, collective bargaining, labour inspection and administration, occupational safety and health, equality of treatment and child labour.
Keywords: labour law, ILO convention, application, law reform, role of the ILO.
Estimating the impact of job-search assistance: Assessment of a Russian programme targeting very low-income families
Raymond STRUYK and Kirill CHAGIN
The authors evaluate an active labour market programme operating in over a dozen Russian cities. The programme provides job-search assistance, financial support and social services to unemployed workers who are members of very poor families. The analysis shows that participants are significantly more likely to find and retain a job than similar workers registered with employment centres at the same time though participants were found to take jobs paying significantly lower wages than the controls. Furthermore, data for an earlier cohort of participants show that 75 per cent of them remained employed more than a year after exiting the programme.
Keywords: job searching, work incentive, state aid, Russian Federation.
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