This chapter contrasts the predictions of globalization skeptics with international economic analysis regarding the effect of globalization on labor conditions. Skeptics argue that globalization encourages sweatshop labor conditions and increases world poverty and inequality, while economic analysis predicts that international competition produces a convergence of working conditions that reduces world inequality. The chapter makes a key semantic distinction between labor conditions (the actual working conditions and labor rights that workers experience) and labor standards (policy objectives or legal requirements regarding the treatment of labor). The chapter concludes by explaining the questions addressed in the rest of the book.
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