North-South Trade, Employment, and Inequality: Changing Fortunes in a Skill-Driven World

North-South Trade, Employment, and Inequality: Changing Fortunes in a Skill-Driven World

North-South Trade, Employment, and Inequality: Changing Fortunes in a Skill-Driven World

North-South Trade, Employment, and Inequality: Changing Fortunes in a Skill-Driven World

Synopsis

In this important and topical book, Adrian Wood demonstrates that recent changes in North-South trade have had a far larger impact on labor markets than earlier studies imply, altering the relative demand for skilled and unskilled workers in the two regions. Developing his argument by incorporating three fields of economics--international, labor, and development--he suggests policies that could reduce the resulting social dislocation in the North, without jeopardizing world trade or economic progress in the South. Wood argues that there are grounds for qualified eptimism despite this problem. Greater trade should mean greater prosperity for developing countries, and less global inequality, while for developed countries it should mean workers are available to produce sophisticated exports, which the South cannot produce. Northern governments must take action to avoid the situation of rising unemployment and protectionism in the North, and exploitation of labor in the South. Wood argues that this can be done not through protectionism, but through investment in education and training to raise the supply of skilled labor.
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