[OPE-L] China: Labor Power Shortage Looms

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Fri Jul 07 2006 - 10:46:29 EDT

I've been working on this problem on and off, for the purpose of a study of
the structure of the global labor force, but it's not as simple as Paul C.
suggests, because of a lack of uniform data standards and classifications
(for example, the OECD often adjusts national and ILO estimates). And, if
you take e.g. Russia, there's discontinuities in the time series, because of
political changes etc.

As regards GDP data, something similar applies, and thus, estimates of world
GDP must be considered with a pinch of salt (consider for example the
effects of subsistence economy valued in money terms). Probably the Marxian
law of value is best tested against global data on output values, hours and
employment levels, but just how robust the data are, is a moot point.

One relevant study is: Deon Filmer, Estimating the World at Work, a
background report for World Bank's World Development Report 1995 (Washington
DC, 1995).
It's available on-line. However it is a bit superficial, insofar as it takes
the official categories more or less for granted. There are also some other
studies referred to on the net which attempt to make estimates based on a
series of country files of labor force data.


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