November 29, 2005

Vandeveer lecture focuses on labor standards

by Pete Rosenbery


CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A leading economist will discuss international labor standards when he presents the annual Vandeveer chair lecture in economics this week at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Professor Kaushik Basu (pronounced Kohl-shick Bass-oo) of Cornell University will discuss "International Labor Standards and Individual Freedom," at 5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 2, in Room 120 of the Lesar Law Building.

Basu is the C. Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell, and director of the Program on Comparative Economic Development.


Media Advisory

Reporters and photographers are welcome to cover Basu's lecture. To arrange an interview earlier in the day, contact professor Sajal Lahiri, Vandeveer professor of economics, at 618/536-7746.


International concern for the rights and well being of workers in developing countries has resulted in moves to impose a common code of minimal international labor standards. Basu's lecture will look at practical implications of applying the same labor standards on a worldwide level, said professor Sajal Lahiri, the Vandeveer professor of economics at SIUC.

"It is a very important issue which everyone is trying to come to grips with," he said. "The world is very globalized today, and the labor markets are integrated."

Lahiri believes the topic of international labor standards is of interest to everyone in the region. Basu will discuss differences in labor standards throughout the world, particularly in developing countries, and child-labor regulations.

There are questions whether there should be one international labor standard or various standards in different countries depending on their economic conditions, Lahiri said. The United States has long pushed for labor standards to be part of the World Trade Organization charter, he said.

Basu previously taught at Princeton, MIT, Harvard and the London School of Economics, and founded the Centre for Development Economics in Delhi. He is the author of numerous articles and several books, including "Analytical Development Economics," and "Prelude to Political Economy: A Study of the Social and Political Foundations of Economics."

The Vandeveer chair was endowed in 1960 through a gift of Ashland Oil and Refining Co., stock made to SIUC by the late philanthropist W.W. Vandeveer, a University alumnus. The Vandeveer chair is the first endowed chair at SIUC.

Promoting programming for the University and community and region that involves individuals with national or international distinction is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.