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Globalization's impact on compliance with labor standards

Ann Harrison () and Jason Scorse

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: In an effort to shed some light on the larger question of labor standardsvand globalization, we seek to examine compliance with minimum wage legislation in Indonesia. Indonesia is an ideal case study because the govern ment made minimum wages a central component of its labor market policies in the 1990s. During this time, minimum wages quadrupled in nominal terms and doubled in real terms. In this paper we estimate the relationship between international competition and compliance with the statutory minimum wage in Indonesia. We identify firms facing international competition with two plant-level indica tors. First, we use the plant's export orientation as one measure of international competition. Second, we use the plant's foreign ownership as another measure of international competition. Critics claim that foreign firms are exploiting foreign workers, although our research on developing countries has shown that foreign enterprises are more likely to pay higher wages. This framework provides a direct test of the relationship between meas ures of globalization and labor standards, as defined by compliance with the regional minimum wage.

Keywords: globalization; minimum wages; foreign investment; corporate social responsibility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F23 J3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2003
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Published in Brookings Trade Forum 2004 (2004): pp. 45-82

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