1st Edition

The Social Effects of Global Trade

Edited By Joy Murray, Arunima Malik, Arne Geschke Copyright 2018
    222 Pages 17 Color & 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Jenny Stanford Publishing

    222 Pages 17 Color & 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Jenny Stanford Publishing

    The inclusion of qualitative social data into global environmental and economic input-output (IO) models remained illusive for many years. It was not until around 2013 that researchers found ways to include data, for example, on poverty, inequality, and worker safety, into IO models capable of tracing global supply chains. The sustainable development goals have now propelled this work onto the world stage with some urgency. They have shone a spotlight onto social conditions around the world and brought global trade into the frame for its ability to influence social conditions for good or ill.

    This book provides a compilation of groundbreaking work on social indicators from the most prominent IO research groups from a wide range of academic backgrounds and from around the world. In addition, it frames this work in the real world of politics, human rights, and business, bringing together a multidisciplinary team to demonstrate the power of IO to illuminate some of the world’s most pressing problems. Edited by well-known researchers in the area, Joy Murray, Arunima Malik, and Arne Geschke, the book is designed to appeal to a broad academic and business audience. While many chapters include technical details and references for follow-up reading, it is possible to omit those sections and yet gain a deep appreciation of the power of IO to address seemingly intractable problems.

    Global trade in an era of neoliberal capitalism: Origins, context and implications (C. Wright)

    Regulating human rights and responsibilities in global supply chains (J. Nolan)

    Calculating the cost of trade (A. Geschke)

    Human rights due diligence and the Social Hotspots Database (C. Benoit Norris, G. Norris, Y. Xiao, J. Murray)

    Corruption embodied in international trade (Y. Xiao)

    Social footprints of nations: a look at welfare (R. Reyes)

    Employment flows from and into the Arab region: A case study to measure the embodied employment in 2010 (A. Alsamawi & Y. Xiao)

    The distribution of labor and wages embodied in European consumption (M. Simas & R. Wood)

    Assessing the structure and social effects of China’s provincial labour landscape (Y. Wang & L. Xu)

    Fairness and globalization in the Western European clothing supply chain (S. Mair, A. Druckman & T. Jackson)

    Income effects in global value chains driven by EU exports (R. Lukach & J.M. Rueda-Cantuche)

    Global trade, pollution and mortality (C. Prell, K. Hubacek, L. Sun & K. Feng)

    Sustainable supply chain solutions (G. Sinden).


    Joy Murray is a senior research fellow with the Integrated Sustainability Analysis (ISA) group in the University of Sydney’s School of Physics, Australia. Before joining the ISA, Murray worked for over 25 years in education, preschool to postgraduate. She has also worked with residents of government housing estates to collaboratively develop leadership capacity. With the ISA, in addition to contributing to numerous journal articles, she has edited The Sustainability Practitioner’s Guide to Input-Output Analysis (2010), Enough for All Forever: A Handbook for Learning about Sustainability (2012), The Sustainability Practitioner’s Guide to Multiregional Input-Output Analysis (2013), and The Sustainability Practitioner’s Guide to Social Analysis and Assessment (2016).

    Global trade is a double-edged sword. It not only helps alleviate poverty and opens new market opportunities but also accelerates the exploitation and unequal use of natural resources and social capital. An ever-growing net of complex, global supply chains increases the distance between producers and consumers, diluting any sense of connectedness or responsibility. This book expertly pieces together a puzzle of global economic activity and explains how trade creates and reinforces detrimental social impacts and affects our social capital. It provides unprecedented insights into how and where our social capital is affected by trade. Written by academics and practitioners and covering a wide range of often underrepresented topics, this book is a milestone in uncovering the true social effects of global trade.

    Dr. Thomas Wiedmann
    School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney

    This important book informs readers how to quantify attributes of specific supply chains and the corresponding ‘footprints’. A crucial innovation is that it supplements the familiar economic and environmental footprints by creating social footprints, exemplified in a set of case studies that reveal instances of human rights offenses, corruption and abuse of workers. Consumers’ growing acceptance of responsibility for social consequences of their purchases makes this volume vital reading for policy makers and business leaders wanting to make public the problems they have identified, and remedied, in their supply chains. The book opens by situating trade within the wider context of neo-liberal capitalism, and it ends with examples of successful business initiatives, some voluntary and others for compliance with regulations, to eliminate problematic links in their global supply chains.

    Faye Duchin

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, USA