Labor Law and the Race to the Bottom
51 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 11, 2013
This article challenges the dominant narrative supporting a race to the bottom in labor law. It supplies narratives that support the empirical literature – that there may not be much of a race at all and, even if there is, it may not be as fast and sudden as advertised. Some labor regulation may produce net benefits for society. This labor regulation should be enhanced, not harmed, by global competition. But even labor regulation that imposes net costs on society may not be subject to the race to the bottom for a variety of reasons. The article does not prove that there is never a race to the bottom. But it does demonstrate that there are plausible, alternative narratives to the dominant one. A narrative skeptical of the race-to-the-bottom hypothesis may help to re-calibrate the scales used to consider labor regulation. If we believe in a race to the bottom a bit less, we may be empowered to think more deeply and creatively about the promise and possibilities of effective labor regulation.
Keywords: Labor Law, Employment Law
JEL Classification: K31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation