This book addresses the controversial call for international labor
standards, seeking to productively further this debate by
considering the economic implications and history of these
standards. A result of an initiative by Professor Kaushik Basu in
his capacity as member of the Expert Group of Development Issues
(EGDI) sponsored by the Swedish Foreign Ministry, the contributions
are based on discussions at a seminar held in Stockholm in August
2001. They focus on four central questions:
How did the labor standards movement evolve in the past, and what
can we learn from its history?
What do contemporary economic theories tell us about the possible
impact of international labor standards?
What solid empirical evidence do economists have about the
incidence, causes and effects of child labor?
What kind of global institutions do we have or need in order to
enforce any agreement on labor standards, and what role should the
ILO and WTO play?
Compiling the best research in the field, this book provides a
solid basis for policy decisions, while also serving as a
challenging text for students in trade, development, and labor
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