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Why Do States Commit to International Labour Standards? The Importance of “Rivalry” and “Friendship”

Baccini, Leonardo and Koenig-Archibugi, Mathias Why Do States Commit to International Labour Standards? The Importance of “Rivalry” and “Friendship”. Working Paper The London School of Economics and Political Science, Political Science and Political Economy Group

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Ratifying conventions adopted by the International Labour Organization creates legal obligations to improve labour standards in the domestic economy. Why do states choose to ratify them? Two influential theoretical approaches offer contrasting explanations. Rational institutionalist theory expects states to use institutions such as the ILO to improve or consolidate their preferred standards while reducing the risk of suffering competitive disadvantages in world markets. In this view, ILO conventions are devices for the prevention and mitigation of regulatory “races to the bottom” among trade rivals. By contrast, sociological institutionalism expect states to ratify ILO conventions if doing so conforms to a norm of appropriate behaviour that is prevalent in the states’ respective peer groups. The paper develops observable implications of the two explanations and tests them by applying spatial regression models to seven core ILO conventions, 187 countries, and 40 years. The paper finds some evidence in support of both explanations, but sociological institutionalism is supported more strongly than rational institutionalism.

Item Type: Working Paper (Working Paper)
Identification Number: LSE PSPE Working Paper 1/2011
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Research Area: Economics and Institutional Change
Depositing User: Users 16 not found.
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2011 10:46
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2011 13:50
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/75

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