Globalization, Worker Insecurity, and Policy Approaches [Updated July 24, 2007]   [open pdf - 128KB]

From the Summary: "Today's global economy, or what many call globalization, has a growing impact on the economic futures of American companies, workers, and families. Increasing integration with the world economy makes the U.S. and other economies more productive. For most Americans, this has translated into absolute increases in living standards and real disposable incomes. However, while the U.S. economy as a whole benefits from globalization, it is not always a win-win situation for all Americans. Rising trade with low-wage developing countries not only increases concerns of job loss, but it also leads U.S. workers to fear that employers will lower their wages and benefits in order to compete. Globalization facilitated by the information technology revolution expands international trade in a wider range of services, but also subjects an increasing number of U.S. white collar jobs to international competition. Also, globalization may benefit some groups more than others, leading some to wonder whether the global economy is structured to help the few or the many. […] There appears to be a range of views on the merits of each of these policy approaches and the extent to which they can be designed and implemented in a way that would reduce worker insecurity without undermining the benefits of globalization. In the view of many economists, policies that inhibit the dynamism of labor and capital markets or erect barriers to international trade and investment would not be helpful because technology and trade are critical sources of overall economic growth and increases in the U.S. living standard. This report will be updated should events warrant."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL34091
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