A paper by Bush School Professor Raymond Robertson shows that a reinvigorated trade policy agenda can improve labor conditions in developing countries.

Increased global trade has brought about a rising awareness of the poor working conditions found in developing countries. In the latest Mosbacher Institute White Paper, “Improving Labor Compliance in Developing Countries,” Raymond Robertson, director of the Mosbacher Institute and a professor at the Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University, reviews existing research and adds new empirical results to evaluate the contributions of different stakeholders in improving labor compliance. His findings suggest that programs that only target exporting firms will miss the poorest and most vulnerable worker populations in other sectors. Robertson proposes that regional trade agreements are a more effective way for foreign governments to encourage national governments in developing countries to effectively change and enforce labor legislation, but also to strengthen their institutional capacity to do so.

Mosbacher Institute White Papers are publications of the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy at the Bush School at Texas A&M University.