Transfer stimulates dialogue between the European trade union movement and the academic and research community. It contributes research findings on issues of strategic relevance for trade unions, in particular with regard to developments at the European level. Transfer publishes original peer-reviewed research on issues such as new developments in industrial relations, social policy, and labour market developments.

Volume 12 Issue 4, Winter 2006

This issue of Transfer deals with a topical phenomenon: relocation. In an increasingly global economy, characterised by substantial differences in costs, wages and other aspects of national comparative advantage, very limited barriers to trade – especially within the enlarged European Union – and vastly reduced transportation and communication costs, firms in high-cost countries are increasingly seeking to relocate elements of the production chain to lower-cost countries. Accordingly, two things are specific to ‘relocation’ as the term is used here: the international, cross-border dimension and the element of ‘substitution’: productive capacity is closed in one country and existing markets are instead served by production in another, lower-cost country.

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