Posted by Kirsten Newitt

Finding ways to measure the impact of trade deals on employment

The European Commission has published a major Ergon research report that explores how best to assess and monitor the impacts of trade on employment, with a special focus on the involvement of social partners.

In particular, the report sets out the results of a pilot monitoring exercise in Chile, which sought to identify the employment impacts of the 2003 EU-Chile trade agreement. In partnership with the University of Chile, we developed and applied a methodology that involved both quantitative data analysis and engagement with social partners in four sectors. The study found tentative evidence of a positive correlation between increased trade with Europe and improved performance on certain employment indicators. We also found evidence that ethical trade and certification schemes were having a positive impact, particularly in the Chilean fruit and wine sectors.

In addition, the research made recommendations for improving the quality of engagement with social partners during the Sustainability Impact Assessments (SIAs) conducted as part of 13 bilateral trade negotiations.

The research was led by Kirsten Newitt and Steve Gibbons. Read the Executive Summary here.