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    • July 2008
    • 9780231140485
  • 232 Pages
  • 3 tables

  • Hardcover
  • $50.00
  • / £34.50

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    • July 2008
    • 9780231512961
  • 232 Pages
  • 3 tables

  • E-book
  • $49.99
  • / £34.50

International Trade and Labor Standards

A Proposal for Linkage

Christian Barry and Sanjay Reddy

Progressive governments in poor countries fear that if they undertake measures to enhance real wages and working conditions, rising labor costs would cause wealthier countries to import from and invest elsewhere. Yet if the world trading system were designed to facilitate or even reward measures to promote labor standards, poor countries could undertake them without fear.

In this book, Christian Barry and Sanjay G. Reddy propose ways in which the international trading system can support poor countries in promoting the well-being of their peoples. Reforms to the trading system can lessen the collective-action problem among poor countries, increasing their freedom to pursue policy that better serves the interests of their people. Incorporating the right kind of linkage between trading opportunities and the promotion of labor standards could empower countries, allowing them greater effective sovereignty and enabling them to improve the circumstances of the less advantaged.

Barry and Reddy demonstrate how linkage can be made acceptable to all players, and they carefully defend these ideas against those who might initially disagree. Their volume is accessible to general readers but draws on sophisticated economic and philosophical arguments and includes responses from leading labor activists, economists, and philosophers, including Kyle Bagwell, Robert Goodin, Rohini Hensman, and Roberto Mangabeira Unger.

About the Author

Christian Barry teaches philosophy in the School of Humanities and is a senior research fellow at the Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the Australian National University. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University, and his research interests include international ethics, global justice, and the philosophy of action.

Sanjay G. Reddy is an assistant professor of economics at Barnard College and at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, and his research interests include development economics, international economics, and economics and philosophy.

"An impeccably reasoned and convincing argument in favor of labor standards as part of trade agreements... Highly recommended." — Choice

"a thoughtful, interesting, and generally well written account of a contentious
subject." — Amitrajeet A. Batabyal, Development Policy Review

"required reading as one of the most important books of recent years" — Michael Pollak, Left Business Observer

"Barry and Reddy also make innovative moral arguments that subvert standard economic assumptions." — Lisa Fuller, Ethics & International Affairs

"the book is a refreshingly controversial contribution." — Miriam Ronzoni, Global Justice

"International Trade and Labor Standards makes a cogent, interdisciplinary case for a fair system of norms and rules that link labor standards worldwide to trade policy. The volume provides an excellent basis for serious discussions concerning the use of multilateral institutions to improve the conditions of many of the world's least-advantaged people." — Robert O. Keohane, professor of international affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

"Written by a numerate philosopher and a morally reflective economist, this work brings much illumination to the previously cloudy dispute about linkage. Focusing on the practical task of reforming the international trade regime to improve conditions for the poor, this book is also a substantial contribution to the current debates about global justice." — Thomas Pogge, professor of philosophy, Yale University, and professorial fellow, Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, The Australian National University

"Barry and Reddy have made a contribution to the alliance of reason with hope. They exemplify a principle that should be rendered radical and universal: the reinvention of the institutional forms of the market and an open world economy. The method in this book is to turn the tables on the abusers of economics, impaling them on their own weapons." — Roberto Mangabeira Unger, minister for strategic affairs in the government of Brazil, and Roscoe Pound Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

About the Author

Christian Barry teaches philosophy in the School of Humanities and is a senior research fellow at the Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the Australian National University. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University, and his research interests include international ethics, global justice, and the philosophy of action.

Sanjay G. Reddy is an assistant professor of economics at Barnard College and at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, and his research interests include development economics, international economics, and economics and philosophy.

List of Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. What Is Linkage? Two Propositions
2. Three Types of Linkage, and What Linkage Proponents Must Show
3. What Linkage Opponents Must Show
4. Arguments Against Linkage
5. Ruling Out Linkage Proposals
6. Identifying Linkage Proposals That Meet the Standard Objections -- A Constructive Procedure
7. A Sketch of a Linkage System
8. Conclusion
Appendix. Empirical Evidence on the Likely Effects of Improvements in Labor Standards
Commentary by Kyle Bagwell: Economic Theory, WTO Rules, and Linkage
Commentary by Rohini Hensman: Fine-Tuning the Linkage Proposal
Commentary by Robert Goodin: The Ethics of Political Linkage
Commentary by Roberto Mangabeira Unger: The Transformative Imagination and the World Trading System
Reply to Commentators
Notes
Index

About the Author

Christian Barry teaches philosophy in the School of Humanities and is a senior research fellow at the Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the Australian National University. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University, and his research interests include international ethics, global justice, and the philosophy of action.

Sanjay G. Reddy is an assistant professor of economics at Barnard College and at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, and his research interests include development economics, international economics, and economics and philosophy.

About the Author

Christian Barry teaches philosophy in the School of Humanities and is a senior research fellow at the Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the Australian National University. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University, and his research interests include international ethics, global justice, and the philosophy of action.

Sanjay G. Reddy is an assistant professor of economics at Barnard College and at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, and his research interests include development economics, international economics, and economics and philosophy.

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About the Author

Christian Barry teaches philosophy in the School of Humanities and is a senior research fellow at the Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the Australian National University. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University, and his research interests include international ethics, global justice, and the philosophy of action.

Sanjay G. Reddy is an assistant professor of economics at Barnard College and at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, and his research interests include development economics, international economics, and economics and philosophy.

About the Author

Christian Barry teaches philosophy in the School of Humanities and is a senior research fellow at the Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the Australian National University. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University, and his research interests include international ethics, global justice, and the philosophy of action.

Sanjay G. Reddy is an assistant professor of economics at Barnard College and at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, and his research interests include development economics, international economics, and economics and philosophy.