Globalization and Employment Conditions Study

This Globalization and employment conditions study focuses on the impact of international commerce on wages, working conditions, and core labor protections. This focus is based on the fact that the dramatic expansion of international trade and investment over the last six decades has likely promoted economic efficiency and the implication for the distribution of income has become the subject of intense debate. In particular, concerns for labor are commonly voiced. The report first considers the available empirical evidence on the impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) and trade on the labor market. It then considers two different mechanisms that have been used to address labor's concerns. Firstly, it looks at private voluntary initiatives that allow consumers and investors to express their values relating to working conditions. Then it turns to some trade agreements that have been used to affect the conditions of work in the export sector. The study closes with some policy recommendations and directions for further research.