Industrialization and Poverty Reduction in East Asia: Internal Labor Movements Matter

Author: Fukunari Kimura, Mateus Silva Chang
Date: 2016/10/15
No: DP2016-022
JEL Classification codes: F66, J0, O1
Language: English
[ Abstract ]

A number of developing East Asian countries have achieved both rapid economic growth and poverty reduction by effectively utilizing global value chains. An essential, but often neglected, condition for their economic development is smooth labor movements from the rural to urban sectors. This paper demonstrates that such labor movements have played an important role in the process of industrialization with global value chains. After conducting some international comparisons, we examine the case of Thailand for its massive labor movements until the mid-2000s as well as discussing stagnant moves in recent years.