Daniel F. Jacoby
Explores the history, theory, and institutions that affect labor's position in an increasingly globalized labor market. Fosters critical inquiry upon the globalization of labor markets and makes connections between global markets and local employment conditions. Prerequisite: B CUSP 200.
This course focuses on 3 sets of issues and policies. The first introduces the macroeconomic interconnections that increasingly make markets global. In this context we ask into the global governance mechanisms that might replace local regulation over basic labor conditions. In this conjunction we ask, "Is a global safety net desirable and if so is it achievable?"
The second set of issues asks whether globalization makes current trends towards flexible and contingent employment relations inevitable? We'll look at the extent to which various industrial nations have attempted policies to deal with employment conditions that are increasingly categorized by short term or casual contracts, limited employer provided benefits, and part-time or adjustable hours. Similarly, we also inquire into the persistence of informal markets in developing countries, and the connections that may exist between informality and government regulations designed to improve labor conditions.
Finally, we'll look at the question of unionization in a global economy. What are its prospects? Can and should it be promoted? What kind of variations exist and which of these address conditions currently at play in the global economy.
This class is cross listed with BPOLST 584. Graduate students in this course will be required to write a 20 page paper, and may will be asked to provide leadership in discussing some papers and texts.
Student learning goals
Examine how workers around the world are affected by globalization
To apply economic tools and political analysis to global labor issues.
To discover some of the important differences that set apart labor movements, policies and institutions in different nations.
Be able to discern for yourself, what are the most promising ways to actively influence labor conditions at home and abroad.
General method of instruction
The class will involve a mix of standard economic analysis, film, discussion and debate.
A background in economics equivalent BUCSP 200 (Microeconomics) is required. Macroeconomics is helpful.
Class assignments and grading