To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Job markets are less globalised than assumed

Tuesday, February 26, 2019


Labour market globalisation.


The widely assumed increases in the global interconnection of national labour markets over recent decades should, if true, weaken national policy arguments for domestic fiscal stimulus, strengthen those for currency devaluation and vocationally focused education, and reduce the ability of workers and unions to bargain for higher wages. However, analysis by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) of three channels of trade connectivity across 40-68 countries from 1995 to 2016 suggests that labour markets are far from universally globalised or, in many countries, globalised in one channel but not others.


  • Uncritically accepting the labour market ‘globalisation-everywhere’ discourse risks choosing policies that could increase inequality.
  • Evidence of less-globalised-than-thought job markets implies that, for many governments, increasing spending will boost domestic activity.
  • Devaluation is becoming less useful in stimulating domestic activity because the share of workers employed in tradable sectors is falling.
  • International coordination of stimulus policies has only become more important for some, not all countries.
Expert Briefings Powered by Oxford Analytica
Stay up to date
Sign up to the Expert Daily Briefings email alert and receive up-to-the-minute analysis of global events as they happen.
*If your university does not have access to Expert Briefings, visit our information page to find out more.