Labor migration from the developing world to the advanced economies: A look at the changing global division of labor
This work explores the conditions under which post-World War II labor migration occurs between the developing world and the advanced economies. It argues that new patterns of economic activity, characterized by export-orientation, highly integrated transnational production structures, and industrial restructuring, favor conditions which at both collective and individual levels encourage migration. To illustrate these points, this paper examines social and economic transformations in Thailand and the City of Los Angeles. An analysis of the 1990 Census data coupled with selected interviews and a review of the literature on immigration reveal that: (1) the underlying social and economic foundations for migration within and emigration from Thailand stem from policies of the state and historic interaction between Thailand and the United States; and (2) the impact of economic restructuring on the Thai immigrant community in Los Angeles has placed them within the larger group of inner-city working poor.