Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs


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Seminar Series: Can RTA Labor Provisions Prevent the Deterioration of Domestic Labor Standards?

Wednesday, March 27, 2019, 12:30pm - 01:30pm
Location:  La Follette School Conference Room, 1225 Observatory Drive

Isao Kamata, a former La Follette School assistant professor, will discuss his study investigating whether labor clauses in regional trade agreements (RTAs) are effective to maintain or improve the domestic labor standards in the signatory countries.

Using a unique dataset that classifies the population of effective RTAs into those with and without labor clauses, Kamata empirically analyzed the effects of  RTA labor clauses on two measures of labor standards, statutory minimum wages and the strictness of employment protection.

His research showed that having labor-clause-free RTAs with more or larger trading partners is associated with lower statutory minimum wages although this negative association is not found for labor-clause-inclusive RTAs.

Kamata, a La Follette School faculty member from 2009 to 2014, is a professor in the Research Center of International Economy and Industry at the University of Niigata Prefecture, Japan.

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