Hooking Workers and Hooking Votes: 'Enganche', the Extension of the Suffrage, and the Institutional Origins of Labor Market Dualism in Latin America
Latin American Politics and Society, Summer 2014, Forthcoming
36 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2013
Date Written: June 26, 2013
Labor market dualism – the segmentation of workers between formal, legally protected employment and informal, unprotected status – has long drawn attention from scholars and policy makers in Latin America. This article argues that lasting patterns of economic and political segmentation of workers arose earlier in the region’s history than has previously been understood, well before the classic “incorporation” period. Late nineteenth century practices for the recruitment and retention of workers shaped Latin America’s first sets of labor laws, most notably those governing union-organization and individual-level worker job stability. Subsequently, these first laws served as important templates for subsequent development, constraining and conditioning the labor codes adopted under mass-based politics. Using historical data drawn from Chile, Peru, and Argentina; the article shows how differing recruitment practices, and variation in the extension of effective suffrage rights and electoral participation; shaped early legal labor market segmentation and inequality in Latin America.
Keywords: labor, regulation, Latin America, history, dualism
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