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Reforming Asian Labor SystemsEconomic Tensions and Worker Dissent$
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Frederic C. Deyo

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450518

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450518.001.0001

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External Liberalization of Trade and Investment

External Liberalization of Trade and Investment

Chapter 5 External Liberalization of Trade and Investment
Reforming Asian Labor Systems

Frederic C. Deyo

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the external liberalization of trade and investment in China, South Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines. Asia's policy shift to market-oriented reform after 1980 may generally be characterized as gradualist and selective. In this regard, Asia marks something of a departure from other regions, inasmuch as relatively more robust economic growth, a lower external debt burden, more adequate foreign reserve holdings, and relatively strong states have meant that external reform pressures were less intense than in other developing countries. In 2008, just prior to the world economic slowdown, public and publicly guaranteed debt as a percentage of GDP stood at 4 percent in China, 13.8 percent in Korea, 16 percent in Thailand, and 35 percent in the Philippines. This chapter first provides an overview of trade liberalization in China, South Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines before discussing the financial deregulation of external capital flows. It then considers the employment implications of external liberalization, along with patterns of change in Asian labor systems over the past three decades.

Keywords:   trade liberalization, China, South Korea, Thailand, Philippines, Asia, financial deregulation, capital flows, labor systems, employment

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