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Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen, Volume 2Society, Institutions, and Development$
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Kaushik Basu and Ravi Kanbur

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239979

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239979.001.0001

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Has Development And Employment Through Labor‐Intensive Industrialization Become History? †

Has Development And Employment Through Labor‐Intensive Industrialization Become History? †

Chapter:
(p.387) Chapter 20 Has Development And Employment Through Labor‐Intensive Industrialization Become History?
Source:
Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen, Volume 2
Author(s):

Rizwanul Islam

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239979.003.0021

This chapter examines (i) the extent to which developing countries of Asia with surplus labour have been able to follow the East Asian model of development and employment through labour-intensive industrialization, and (ii) the factors that can explain the divergence in the experience, if any. It finds that a good number of developing countries in Asia are still far away from the Lewis turning point, and yet, employment intensity of growth is low and declining. It argues that in the current global context of trade and industrialization, the quest for competitiveness leads to a greater focus on technology and lower degree of labour intensity. Moreover, given the international focus on compliance and rights, flexibility in labour markets that characterized the successful countries of East Asia is no longer an option.

Keywords:   surplus labour, Lewis turning point, labour-intensive industrialization, employment intensity, employment-intensive growth, elasticity of employment, labour marke

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