The International Labor Organization in the Stag Hunt for Global Labor Rights
Journal of Law and Ethics of Human Rights, Forthcoming
28 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2009
Date Written: August 4, 2009
The International Labor Organization (ILO) is not an effective force for raising labor standards in the developing world and could become considerably more effective by taking account of the two of the most important and interrelated recent theoretical developments in understanding labor standards. First, countries derive no comparative advantage in the global trading system from most very low labor standards. The ILO should therefore concentrate its energies on lifting these, rather than (as it so often does) concentrating on labor standards that are a source of comparative advantage, the elimination of which is resisted strongly and effectively. Second, the tools of game theory may be used to identify the collective action problems that prevent countries from lifting their own labor standards, and create a role for a transnational agency that may assist them.
Keywords: labor rights, Stag Hunt Model, game theory, globalization
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