Ticket to trade: Belgian labour and globalization before 1914

Citation data:

Economic History Review, ISSN: 0013-0117, Vol: 61, Issue: 2, Page: 326-359

Publication Year:
2008
Usage 3154
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SSRN Id:
1111811
DOI:
10.1111/j.1468-0289.2007.00396.x
Author(s):
Michael Huberman
Publisher(s):
Wiley-Blackwell
Tags:
Arts and Humanities; Economics, Econometrics and Finance
article description
Standard trade theory, as invoked by political scientists and economists, would anticipate that workers in Belgium, a small Old World country, rich in labour relative to land, were in a good position to benefit from the wave of globalization before 1914. However, wage increases remained modest and 'labour' moved slowly towards adopting a free-trade position. Beginning in 1885, the Belgian labour party backed free trade, but its support was conditional on more and better social legislation. Belgian workers' wellbeing improved in the wave of globalization, but the vehicle was labour and social legislation and not rising wages. © Economic History Society 2007.