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Voluntary ProgramsA Club Theory Perspective$
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Matthew Potoski and Aseem Prakash

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262162500

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262162500.001.0001

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Voluntary Agreements and the Shipping Industry

Voluntary Agreements and the Shipping Industry

(p.132) (p.133) 7 Voluntary Agreements and the Shipping Industry
Voluntary Programs

Elizabeth R. DeSombre

The MIT Press

This chapter examines several voluntary programs within the shipping industry, where externality problems are difficult to solve due to an absence of a global sovereign government. It posits that while certain types of problems such as lax labor standards, inadequate safety, overfishing, and environmental protections are addressed by voluntary programs, these programs can also result in strong club standards and enforcement regimes. The chapter takes a look at the International Transport Workers Federation as an example, and how they were able to create a club of ships that agreed to implement higher labor standards in return for unfettered access to ship services in port. The low standards were concluded to be a reaction to the weakness of standards imposed by governments. As a result, the creation of clubs provided benefits that made it possible for ships to increase their regulations.

Keywords:   voluntary programs, shipping industry, labor standards, overfishing, Transport Workers Federation, global sovereign government

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