chapter  15
Globalization and the Reworking of Labour Market Segmentation in the Philippines
ByNiels Beerepoot
Pages 12

In a recent editorial, The Economist was quite clear on how contemporary globalization generates winners and losers in the labour force. ‘In the 21st century competition between firms and industries is becoming less important than competition between individual tasks within firms in different countries. Rather than affecting entire industries, or whole factories, global competition will affect individual jobs – skilled as much as unskilled’ (The Economist 2007). Competition is no longer just felt at the level of the nation or the firm, with its effects trickling down to the level of its labour force, but the labour force is now itself directly susceptible to increasing competition both within its country and between countries. Contemporary globalization makes the world more interconnected but this interconnected world is being segmented in new ways (Krishna and Nederveen Pieterse 2008). This raises the question how the ‘new competition’ in the labour market will have its local outcome in various parts of the world, and how it will lead to a reworking of labour market segmentation. The co-existence of high wage and low wage sectors is the defining feature of labour market dualism, the generalization of which is labour market segmentation (Fields 2007). Labour market segmentation theory finds its origin in Western capitalist societies during the 1960s and 1970s (see for instance Doeringer and Piore 1971, Carnoy 1980). Since then various studies have identified how segmentation of labour takes place at various scales, such as the international, national and local, and through the working of concomitant processes of globalization (see for instance Peck 1996, Castree et al. 2004, Bauder 2006, Chapter 2 of this volume).