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1 WORK, DEVELOPMENT, AND

By Professor Harley Shaiken

Abstract

At the heart of the global economy today is a troubling paradox: the productivity of advanced manufacturing promises to raise living standards while fierce world-wide competition for jobs threatens to undercut wages and working conditions. How does one resolve this paradox? The short answer is not easily! That said, my goals in this paper are more modest: to provide fresh perspectives on the tension between the promise of exportled growth and the pressures of globalization. Trapped in the midst of this conflict, social and economic policies related to work are often battered yet nonetheless remain central in strategies of development. In a rapidly evolving system of global trade and production, transnational firms can thrive in a variety of situations as long as political stability and protection for investment exist. For societies, however, a world of difference separates paths of development that lead to broadly-shared prosperity from those that result in high productivity poverty--islands of competitive success that bypass workers and most everyone else. Firm strategies and government policies that foster social inclusion can spur economic growth. They can make possible steadily growing consumer demand and social stabilit

Year: 2011
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