The political economy of labor market deregulation during IMF interventions

Reinsberg, B. , Stubbs, T., Kentikelenis, A. and King, L. (2019) The political economy of labor market deregulation during IMF interventions. International Interactions, 45(3), pp. 532-559. (doi: 10.1080/03050629.2019.1582531)

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This study examines the relationship between policy interventions by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and de jure labor rights. Combining two novel data sets with unprecedented country-year coverage – leximetric data on labor laws and disaggregated data on IMF conditionality – our analysis of up to 70 developing countries from 1980 to 2014 demonstrates that IMF-mandated labor market policy measures significantly reduce both individual and collective labor rights. Once we control for the effect of labor market policy measures, however, we find that collective labor rights increase in the wake of IMF programs. We argue that this result is explained by the impact of union pressure on governments which, in such a context, are imbued with the policy space to respond to domestic interest groups. The study has broader theoretical implications as to when international organizations are effective in constraining governments’ choices.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding by the Cambridge Political Economy Society Trust and the Centre for Business Research at the Cambridge Judge Business School is gratefully acknowledged.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Reinsberg, Dr Bernhard
Authors: Reinsberg, B., Stubbs, T., Kentikelenis, A., and King, L.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:International Interactions
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1547-7444
Published Online:12 February 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 aylor & Francis Group, LLC
First Published:First published in International Interactions 45(3):532-559
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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