Worker Influence on Capital Account Policy: Inflow Liberalization and Outflow Restrictions
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© 2017 Taylor & Francis. How do workers impact openness to international investment flows? This article distinguishes between two types of openness: openness to inflows and openness to outflows of investment. Workers benefit from inflow openness due to increases in wages, productivity, and efficiency and due to reductions in borrowing costs, which are associated with investment inflows. Workers are hurt by outflow openness, as investors gain investment options, and therefore bargaining power, when outflows are permitted. Labor rights help workers overcome collective action problems, and democratic institutions increase policymakers’ responsiveness to labor organizations and make their commitment to labor rights credible. The theory thus predicts that, particularly under democratic institutions, labor rights are positively correlated with inflow openness and negatively correlated with outflow openness. Evidence from time-series, cross-sectional data is consistent with the theoretical expectations.
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