Labor Markets in Latin America: Combining Social Protection with Market Flexibility

By Sebastian Edwards; Nora Lustig Claudia | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWO
The Legal Framework for Collective Bargaining in Developing Economies

John Pencavel

THIS IS AN ESSAY in both positive and normative economics. The positive aspect describes the activities of labor unions in an economy. Given these activities, the normative component advocates the appropriate framework for the law on collective bargaining. The type of economy I have in mind is a developing economy, such as that of Latin America, Africa, or Southeast Asia. With such a wide sweep of countries, it would be remarkable if labor unions operated, or should operate, in these economies in just the same way. Local circumstances have an impact on the manner in which institutions work, so there is real value to a detailed study of a country's institutions that recognizes the wider historical and cultural context in which they fit. Therefore the price of attempting a statement about the operation of unions that is designed to be so widely

The basic arguments in this paper were first presented in a manuscript prepared in Santiago, Chile, in May 1979. This is an expanded version of that paper. Its preparation has been supported by the World Bank, although the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the World Bank. This version has benefited from comments on earlier drafts from Ben Craig, Alejandra Cox Edwards, Gary Fields, Hafez Ghanem, Paul Glewwe, David Lindauer, Julie Anderson Schaffner, Roberto Steiner, Michael Walton, and two anonymous referees.

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