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Unpacking the US labor share

Explorations in the Tradition of Thomas E. Weisskopf

James Heintz

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James Heintz

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James Heintz

One of the most prevalent arguments as to why global labor standards are necessary is that they prevent a ‘race to the bottom’. Estimates suggest that up to a fifth of all working individuals in developing countries live in households whose income per person falls below one dollar a day. The widespread incidence of poverty among working people is indicative of the general prevalence of indecent working conditions. Having a job is simply not enough – the quality of employment matters. Instituting a coordinated system of global labor standards represents one approach to creating a minimum floor of job quality. This chapter takes a close look at the debates surrounding global labor standards. In particular, it summarizes the key arguments in support of global labor standards, evaluates the threat of negative consequences that could spring from such regulations and discusses current developments in implementation strategies.

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Elissa Braunstein and James Heintz