Ticket to Trade: Belgian Labor and Globalization Before 1914

34 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2008


Standard trade theory, as invoked by political scientists and economists, would anticipate that workers in Belgium, a small Old World country, rich in labor relative to land, were in a good position to benefit from the wave of globalization before 1914. However, wage increases remained modest and labor moved slowly towards adopting a free-trade position. Beginning in 1885, the Belgian labor party backed free trade, but its support was conditional on more and better social legislation. Belgian workers' wellbeing improved in the wave of globalization, but the vehicle was labor and social legislation and not rising wages.

Suggested Citation

Huberman, Michael, Ticket to Trade: Belgian Labor and Globalization Before 1914. The Economic History Review, Vol. 61, Issue 2, pp. 326-359, May 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1111811 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2007.00396.x

Michael Huberman (Contact Author)

University of Montreal ( email )

C.P. 6128 succursale Centre-ville
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7

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