torsdag 12 februari 2009

Globalisering och klass

"The global economic community, and economic policymakers in governments and global institutions alike, has yet to fully understand the most fundamental economic development in this era of globalization — the doubling of the global labor force.

The doubling I am referring to is the increased number of persons in the global economy that results from China, India and the ex-Soviet Union embracing market capitalism.

In 1980, the global workforce consisted of workers in the advanced countries, parts of Africa and most of Latin America. Approximately 960 million persons worked in these economies.

Population growth — largely in poorer countries — increased the number employed in these economies to about 1.46 billion workers by 2000.

But in the 1980s and 1990s, workers from China, India and the former Soviet bloc entered the global labor pool. Of course, these workers had existed before then. The difference, though, was that their economies suddenly joined the global system of production and consumption.

In 2000, those countries contributed 1.47 billion workers to the global labor pool — effectively doubling the size of the world's now connected workforce.
I estimate that the entry of China, India and the former Soviet bloc into the global economy cut the global capital/labor ratio by just 55% to 60% what it otherwise would have been.

The capital/labor ratio is a critical determinant of the wages paid to workers and of the rewards to capital. The more capital each worker has, the higher will be their productivity and pay. A decline in the global capital/labor ratio shifts the balance of power in markets toward capital, as more workers compete for working with that capital.

Even considering the high savings rate in the new entrants — the World Bank estimates that China has a savings rate of 40% of GDP — it will take 30 or so years for the world to re-attain the capital/labor ratio among the countries that had previously made up the global economy.

Having twice as many workers and nearly the same amount of capital places great pressure on labor markets throughout the world. This pressure will affect workers in the developing countries who had traditionally participated in the global economy, as well as workers in advanced countries. "
Richard Freeman, nationalekonom vid Harvard, "The Doubling of the Global Workforce", The Globalist, 2005

jfr statsvetaren Sven Oskarsson om globalisering och klass:
Sven Oskarsson, "Class Struggle in the Wake of Globalization: Union Organization and Economic Integration", i Lars Magnusson och Jan Ottoson (eds) Europe - One Labour Market? Brussels: PIE Lang, 2002

s 208

3 distinkta sätt på vilka ökad handel och rörlighet (globalisering) påverkar relationen arbete - kapital. (Rogowski 1998; Rodrik 1997; Swank 2000).

1) Heckscher-Ohlin. "Under a closed economy locally abundant factors will be underpaid, while the scarce ones will be overpaid. When trade and/or capital barriers fall the factor prices will converge to a world market price. Thus, locally abundant factors are the winners whereas scarce factors are the losers of economic globalization. More concretely this means that low-skilled labour in developed countries - the scarce factor - will experience wage cuts as an effect of increased competition with low wage countries." Alternativt högre arbetslöshet, om lönerna hålls uppe. MJ Slaughter har undersökt detta empiriskt.

2) arbetare blir mer utbytbara, efterfrågan på arbete mer elastisk, när man kan handla mer alt. anställa utomlands istället.

3) "the increased exit option of capital, as well as the possibility for outsourcing through trade, will shift from labour to capital bargaining power over the rent distribution in firms."

"As stated here, the impact of economic globalization is to shift the power balance between labour and capital". (s 209)

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