Does foreign direct investment improve collective labor rights in host countries? Studies have discussed how FDI originated from developed democracies may improve collective labor rights in host countries. What we don’t know is whether this positive effect of FDI on labor rights is present when FDI originates from developing economies with oppressive labor conditions. The rapid rise of China as a source of outward FDI provides an opportunity to examine this question. Using a time-series cross-sectional dataset covering 109 countries from 2005 to 2018, I examine how Chinese outward FDI influences the collective labor rights of host countries in both developing and developed regions and whether the effect of Chinese FDI differs from that of FDI from developed democracies. I find that FDI inflow from China is significantly associated with a decline in collective labor rights in host countries, while non-Chinese FDI inflow does not have such a negative effect.
Yujeong Yang is a teaching assistant professor at the Department of Political Science. She obtained her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Before moving to Illinois, she was an assistant professor at the State University of New York, Cortland. Her research focuses on labor politics and welfare politics in China. Her articles have been published in Politics and Society, China Quarterly, Public Administration & Development, and Law & Society Inquiry.
This event is part of the 2021-2022 Joint Area Centers Symposium Series on Global Work, with support from the Department of Education Title VI Program.