Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2004, Vol. 59 ›› Issue (7s): 191-197.doi: 10.11821/xb20047s026

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Progress in the Study of Labor Issues by Economic Geographers in Western Countries

YE Qi, LIU Weidong   

  1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2004-07-20 Revised:2004-09-27 Online:2004-12-25 Published:2004-12-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40131010


Labor as a key production factor has been paid attention to by scholars for a long time. Since the 1990s, as a result of the changes enabled by economic globalization and technological progress, e.g., transformations of production pattern, employment structure, welfare institution and labor-capital relations, labor issues have displayed more significant than ever. Such transformations have made labor studies a key research area in the field of economic geography in the Western countries. In fact, this is just a reflection of the "institutional and cultural turn" in economic geography in recent years as labor issues become a focus of study. Since local labor market is a place where social and institutional activities and regulations interact, its study is a concrete support to the "institutional and cultural turn". This paper firstly summarizes the three main stages in labor studies by economic geographers in the Western countries, and then reviews the main theoretical approaches to labor studies. It finally analyzes and examines the implications for the geographical study of labor issues in China.

Key words: local labor market, labor regulation, economic geography, progress