Share This Article:

Strategic Dimensions of Neoliberal Globalization: The Exporting of Labor Force and Unequal Exchange

Abstract Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:234KB) PP. 127-134
DOI: 10.4236/aasoci.2012.22017    4,538 Downloads   7,855 Views   Citations


In addition to environmental degradation and financial speculation, neoliberal globalization has created a complex strategy of capital internationalization led by large multinational corporations that is driving labor costs down to extreme levels. This strategy is based, on the one hand, on the establishment of global commodity chains based on outsourcing schemes and intra-firm trade, which operate in peripheral nations and in the form of enclaves; on the other, it employs international labor migration as a means to lower labor costs in central countries. Both mechanisms comprise a new rung in the international division of labor: the export of labor. This process has led to new forms of unequal exchange that are much more predatory than those involved in the exchange of raw materials for industrial products. This has led to a reintegration of a subordinate periphery to the center, increasing asymmetries between countries and pushing social inequality to unprecedented levels. The purpose of this paper is to empirically and conceptually analyze these fundamental aspects of contemporary global architecture.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Wise, R. & Covarrubias, H. (2012). Strategic Dimensions of Neoliberal Globalization: The Exporting of Labor Force and Unequal Exchange. Advances in Applied Sociology, 2, 127-134. doi: 10.4236/aasoci.2012.22017.


[1] Amin, S. (1971). Imperialismo y comercio internacional. El intercambio desigual. Mexico: Siglo XXI.
[2] Bello, W. (2006). The capitalist conjuncture: Over-accumulation, financial crises, and the threat from globalisation. Third Word Quarterly, 27, 1345-1368. doi:10.1080/01436590601027222
[3] Bresser-Pereira, L. (2007). Method and passion in Celso Furtado. In E. Pérez, & M. Vernego (Eds.), Ideas, policies and economic development in the Americas (pp. 9-30). London: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780203964026.ch2
[4] Brewer, A. (1980). Marxist theories of imperialism. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
[5] Críticas de la Economía Política (1979). El intercambio desigual. Mexico: El Caballito.
[6] Cypher, J., & J. Dietz (2009). The process of economic development (3rd ed.). London: Routledge.
[7] Cypher J. M., & Delgado Wise, R. (2010). Mexico’s economic dilemma. The developmental failure of neoliberalism. Lanham, MA: Rowman & Littlefield.
[8] Delgado Wise, R., & Márquez, H. (2007). The Theory and practice of the dialectical relationship between development and migration. Migración y Desarrollo, 9, 5-25.
[9] Delgado, R., & Márquez, H. (2009). Understanding the relationship between migration and development: Toward a new theoretical approach. Social Analysis, 53, 85-105. doi:10.3167/sa.2009.530305
[10] Delgado Wise, R., Márquez, H., & Rodríguez, H. (2009). Seis Tesis para Desmitificar el Nexo entre Migración y Desarrollo. Migración y Desarrollo, 12, 27-52.
[11] Delgado Wise, R., Márquez, H., & Puentes, R. (2009). Elementos para replantear el debate sobre migración, desarrollo y derechos humanos. URL (last checked 2-5 November 2009).
[12] Delgado Wise, R., & Invernizzi, N. (2005). Differences Behind the Appearances: Export Growth, Technological Capabilities, and Development in Mexico and South Korea. Canadian Journal of Development Studies, 3, 409-421.
[13] Emmanuel, A. (1972). El intercambio desigual. Mexico: Siglo XXI.
[14] Foladori, G., & Pierri, N. (2005). Sustentabilidad? Desacuerdos sobre el desarrollo sustentable. Mexico: Miguel ángel Porrúa.
[15] Foster, J. B., & Magdoff, F. (2009). The Great Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences. New York: Monthly Review Press.
[16] Freeman, R. B. (2005). What really ails Europe and America: The doubling of the global workforce. URL (last checked 18 April 2012).
[17] Freeman, R. B. (2005). Does globalization of the scientific/engineering workforce threaten U.S. economic leadership? URL (last checked 18 April 2012).
[18] Gereffi, G. (2001). Las cadenas productivas como marco analítico para la globalización. Problemas de Desarrollo, 125, 9-37.
[19] Hardt, M., & Negri, A. (2000). Empire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
[20] Harvey, D. (2007). Neoliberalism as creative destruction. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 610, 21-44. doi:10.1177/0002716206296780
[21] International Labour Organization (2008). World of work report 2008. Income inequalities in the age of financial globalization. Geneva: OIT.
[22] Organización Internacional del Trabajo (2011). Tendencias mundiales del empleo 2011: El desafío de la recuperación del empleo. Geneva: OIT.
[23] Kay, C. (2002). Why East Asia overlook Latin America. Third World Quarterly, 23, 1073-1102. doi:10.1080/0143659022000036649
[24] Kapur, D. (2004). Remittances: The new development mantra? G-24 Discussion Paper Series, 29, 1-34.
[25] Lester, R., & Piore, M. (2004). Innovation. The Missing Dimension. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
[26] Lozano, F., & Gandini, L.(2009). La emigración de recursos humanos calificados desde países de América Latina y el Caribe. Caracas: SELA.
[27] Mallorquín, C. (2007). The unfamiliar raúl prebish. In E. Pérez, & E. Vernego (Eds.), Ideas, policies and economic development in the Americas (pp. 98-122). London: Routledge.
[28] Marini, R. M. (1973). Dialéctica de la dependencia. Mexico: Ediciones Era.
[29] Márquez, H. (2007). Controversias en el desarrollo económico local basado en las remesas de los migrantes. Análisis económico, 47, 307-330.
[30] Covarrubias, H. M. (2009). Diez rostros de la crisis civilizatoria del sistema capitalista mundial. Problemas del Desarrollo, 40, 191-210.
[31] Covarrubias, H. M. (2010). La gran crisis del capitalismo neoliberal. Andamios, 13, 57-84.
[32] Munck, R. (2000), Dependency and imperialism in Latin America. In R. Chicolte (Ed.), The political economy of imperialism (pp. 141-156). Lanham, MD: Rowmann & Littlefield.
[33] Petras, J., & Veltmeyer, H. (2000). Globalisation or imperialism? Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 14, 1-15. doi:10.1080/09557570008400327
[34] Prebisch, R. (1986). El desarrollo económico en América Latina y alguno de sus principales problemas,” Desarrollo Económico, 26, 479-502.
[35] Robinson, W. (2008). Latin America and global capitalism: A critical globalization perspective. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
[36] Schierup C.-U., Hansen, P. & Castles, S. (2006). Migration, citizenship, and the European welfare state: A European dilemma. London: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/0198280521.001.0001
[37] Singa Boyenge, J. P. (2007). ILO database on export processing zones (Revised). Working Paper 25. Sectoral Activities Programme. Geneva: International Labour Organization.
[38] Singer, H. (1975). The strategy of international development. Essays in the economics of backwardness. London: Macmillan.
[39] Stiglitz, J. E. (2002). Globalization and its discontents. London: Penguin.
[40] The Economist (2009). Manufacturing future: Wanted new costumers. The Economist, 393, 36-38.
[41] UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) (2005). World Development Report 2005. Transnational Corporations and the Internationalization of R&D. New York, NY: United Nations
[42] United Nations (2004). World economic and social survey 2004. International migration. New York, NY: United Nations.
[43] Críticas de la Economía of Política (2006). Seguimiento de la población mundial, con especial referencia a la migración internacional y el desarrollo.
[44] Klugman, J. (2010). Informe sobre desarrollo humano 2009. Superando barreras: movilidad y desarrollo humanos. New York, NY: United Nations.
[45] World Bank (2010). Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011. URL (last checked 10 April 2012).

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2018 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.