Observations on International Labor Standards and Trade, Issue 5632
This paper reviews the theoretical arguments for and against linking international labor standards to trade. Based on theory alone it is difficult to generalize about the effect of labor standards on efficiency and equity. Some economists have argued that international labor standards are merely disguised protectionism. An evaluation of determinants of support for legislation that would ban imports to the United States of goods made with child labor provides little support for the prevailing political economy view. In particular, members of Congress representing districts with relatively many unskilled workers, who are most likely to compete with child labor, are less likely to support a ban on imports made with child labor. Another finding is that the prevalence of child labor declines sharply with national income. Last, an analysis of compulsory schooling laws, which are often suggested as an alternative to prohibiting child labor, finds a tremendous amount of noncompliance in developing nations
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ADA rating Alan Krueger amount of noncompliance argues benefit Child Labor Deterrence child labor standards cohort comparative advantage competition compulsory schooling laws Congress constituents cosponsor Data deadweight loss desire determinants of support developing countries disguised protectionism districts with relatively economically efficient educational attainment employers employment enforce Evidence forced labor gopher at nber.harvard.edu high school dropouts http://nber.harvard.edu income industrial countries International Labor Affairs international labor standards International Trade Labor Deterrence Act legislation linear probability model list of NBER market failures minimal labor standards minimum wage minimum work age monopsony NAFTA and GATT NBER Working Papers Papers and Reprints partial subscriptions percent policies redistribution representatives from districts sample school leaving age schooling age side agreements Standards and Global Standards and Trade support for international support for NAFTA support international labor textile trade agreements U.S. Department union rate United voted for NAFTA Washington World Bank World Values Surveys World Wide Web