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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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The Deregulatory Face of Labor Reform

The Deregulatory Face of Labor Reform

Chapter 6 The Deregulatory Face of Labor Reform
Reforming Asian Labor Systems

Frederic C. Deyo

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the deregulatory aspect of labor reform, especially during the years leading up to and during the regional financial crisis of the late 1990s. During the 1990s, China, Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines to varying degrees and in different ways pursued market-conforming policies of labor market deregulation, institutional devolution to local and private sectors, and market-oriented social-policy reform. This chapter first considers the role played by labor market deregulation in encouraging ever-more-shallow protections among previously protected formal-sector workers and in devolving regulatory authority to local levels. It then asks whether increased labor market flexibility, and a corresponding increase in employment contingency, implies an increase in informality as claimed by some critics of labor market reform. It also discusses the extent to which the Asian experience has modeled the precepts of market-oriented reform in the area of social reproduction and protection of labor. Finally, it explores educational reform and the implications of labor market deregulation for the labor process.

Keywords:   financial crisis, labor market deregulation, labor market flexibility, employment contingency, labor market reform, Asia, social reproduction, social protection, educational reform, labor process

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