The Employment Footprints of Nations

12 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2014

See all articles by Ali Alsamawi

Ali Alsamawi

The University of Sydney

Joy Murray

The University of Sydney

Manfred Lenzen

The University of Sydney - Center for Integrated Sustainability Analysis (ISA)

Date Written: February 2014

Abstract

In this study, we present an analysis of the average wages paid for producing direct and indirect imports of nations using employment and income footprints. An employment footprint includes a country's domestic employment and that occurring along the supply chains of, and hence embodied in, its imported goods and services. Our results allow us to group the world's nations into “masters” that enjoy a lifestyle supported by workers in other countries and “servants” that support the lifestyle of master countries. We show that, in 2010, employment footprints of countries differed substantially from their own workforce footprints. Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Switzerland occupy the top‐ranking positions of master countries, whereas many African and Asian countries are servants. Our findings show that the commodities that are “servant intensive,” such as electronics, agricultural products, and chemicals, tend to have complex supply chains often originating in third‐world countries. The quantification of these master‐servant relationships and the exposing of implicated supply chains could be of benefit to those concerned with their corporate social responsibility and committed to fairer trading or those developing policy around fair globalization.

Keywords: employment and wages footprints, industrial ecology, input‐output tables, international trade, social science, supply chains

Suggested Citation

Alsamawi, Ali and Murray, Joy and Lenzen, Manfred, The Employment Footprints of Nations (February 2014). Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 18, Issue 1, pp. 59-70, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2396227 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jiec.12104

Ali Alsamawi (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney

University of Sydney
No Address Available

Joy Murray

The University of Sydney

Manfred Lenzen

The University of Sydney - Center for Integrated Sustainability Analysis (ISA)

School of Physics, A28
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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