Winners and Losers in the Asia-Pacific
Edited by Noel Gaston and Ahmed M. Khalid
Chapter 9: Globalization and Labor Markets: Developments in the Asia-Pacific
9. Globalization and labor markets: developments in the Asia-Pacific Ian Harper INTRODUCTION The Asia-Pacific region is very diverse. Countries are at different stages of development; their social features are distinct; and economic regulations vary widely. Each country has a different story to tell concerning its experience of globalization. History tells us that globalization is not a new phenomenon. People (as well as trade, finance and technology) have naturally flowed between locations. However, the size, pace and nature of these flows have varied over time, as have their effects on the labor market. This chapter takes a medium-term perspective on labor market developments in the Asia-Pacific region, through a period in which these forces of globalization have continued to change and, arguably, intensify. The next section surveys how labor markets in a selection of countries have performed over the past 20 years. This is followed by a review of the effects of globalization on low-skilled workers. The fourth section discusses the role of minimum wages in the context of globalization. The final section concludes. LABOR MARKET PERFORMANCE IN THE ASIAPACIFIC The Asia-Pacific is one of the world’s most interesting regions for research on labor market issues: ● ● ● ● ● the region includes countries at very different stages of development; some countries are changing at a faster pace than others; the composition of economic activity varies widely across countries; there is a high rate of labor mobility; and the region’s engagement with the rest of the world is increasing. 185 186 300 250 200 150...
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