Globalization and the Geography of Labor Recruitment Firms in the Philippines

  • James A. Tyner Kent State University
Keywords: Migration, Institutions, Recruitment Agencies, Contract Labor


Geographers and other social scientists have documented the increased globalization of economic activities. Private firms, especially, have been identified as contributing to new and flexible institutional arrangements. Concurrently, patterns and processes of international labor migration have been transformed by changes in the global economy. An under-theorized aspect of these trends, though, has been the functioning of private labor recruitment firms in the global labor market. Using the Philippines as a case study, this paper directs attention to the spatiality of private recruitment firms within a context of globalization. Specifically, I unpack the various institutions and organizations that comprise the Philippine state labor migration industry, and examine how private recruitment firms, in particular, intersect dialectically within processes of globalization.


Abella, M. (1992) Contemporary labour migration from Asia: Policies and perspectives of sending countries. In Kritz, M.M., Lim, L.L., and Zlotnik, H. (eds.) International Migration Systems: A Global Approach. Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 263-278.

Alegado, D.T. (1992) The Political Economy of International Labor Migration from the Philippines, Ph.D. Diss., University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Andall, J. (1992) Women migrant workers in Italy. Women's Studies International Forum, 15 :41-48.

Asis, M .. M.B. (1992) The overseas employment program policy. In Battistella, G. and Paganoni, A. (eds.) Philippine Labor Migration: Impact and Policy. Quezon City: Scalabrini Migration Center, pp. 68-112.

Ball, R. (1997) The role of the state in the globalisation of labor markets: The case of the Philippines. Environment and Planning A, 29: 1603-1628.

Ballescas, M.R.P. (1992) Filipino Entertainers in Japan: An Introduction. Quezon City: The Foundation for Nationalist Studies.

Battistella, G. (1999) Philippine migration policy: Dilemmas of a crisis. Sojourn, 14: 229-248.

Calavita, K. (1992) Inside the State: The Bracero Program, Immigration, and the l.N.S. New York: Routledge.

Carnoy, M. and Castells, M. (2001) Globalization, the knowledge society, and the network state: Poulantzas at the millennium. Global Networks, 1:1-18.

Castles, S. and Miller, M.J. (1993) The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World. New York: The Guilford Press.

Constable, N. (1997) Maid to Order in Hong Kong: Stories of Filipina Workers. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Dicken, P. (1992) Global Shift: The Internationalization of Economic Activity. New York: The Guilford Press. 2nd ed.

Dicken, P. and Yeung, H.W (1999) Investing in the future: East and Southeast Asian firms in the global economy. In aids, K., Dicken, P., Kelly, P.E, Kong, L., and Yeung, H.W (eds.) Globalisation and the Asia-Pacific: Contested Territories. New York: Routledge, pp. 107-128.

Epstein, E. and Monat, J. (1973) Labor contracting and its regulation: I. International Labor Review, 107:451-470.

Favell, A. (2001) Migration, mobility and globaloney: Metaphors and rhetoric in the sociology of globalization. Global Networks, 1 :389-398.

Findlay, A. M. Jones, H. and Davidson, G. M. (1998) Migration transition or migration transformation in the Asian dragon economies. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 22:643-663.

Gamburd, M.R. (2000) The Kitchen Spoon's Handle: Transnationalism and Sri Lanka's Migrant Housemaids. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Gibson, K. and Graham, J. (1986) Situating migrants in theory: The case of Filipino migrant contract construction workers. Capital and Class, 29:130-149.

Gonzalez, III, J.L. (1998) Philippine Labor Migration: Critical Dimensions of Public Policy. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Hawes, G. (1987) The Philippine State and the Marcos Regime. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Hondagneu-Sotelo, P. (2001) Domestica: Immigrant Workers Cleaning and Caring in the Shadows of Affluence. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Hugo, G. (1997) Asia and the Pacific on the move: Workers and refugees, a challenge to nation states. Asia and Pacific Viewpoint, 38:267-286.

Huguet, J.W (1992) The future of migration within Asia. Asian and Pacific MigrationJournal, 1:250-277.

Humphrey, M. (1991) Asian women workers in the Middle East: Domestic servants in Jordan. Asian Migrant, 4:53-60.

Jones, H. and Pardthaisong, T. (1999) The commodification of international migration: Findings from Thailand. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Socia Ie Geografie, 90:32-46.

Lim, L.L. and Oishi, N. (1996) International labor migration of Asian women: Distinctive characteristics and policy concerns. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal,5:85-116.

Markusen, A. (1994) Studying regions by studying firms. The Professional GeogratJher, 46:477-490.

Marshall, N. and Wood, P. (1995) Services and Space: Key Aspects of Urban and Regional Development. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Martin, P. (1996) Labor contractors: A conccptual overview. Asian and Pacific MigrationJournal, 5:201-218.

Massey, D. (1984) Spatial Divisions of Labor: Social Structures and the Geography of Production. New York: Routledge.

Masscy, D.S., Arango, J. Hugo, G., Kouaouci, A., Pellegrino, A. and Taylor, J.E. (1993) Theories of international migration: A review and appraisal. Population and Development Review, 19:431-466.

Masscy, D.S., Arango, J. Hugo, G., Kouaouci, A., Pellegrino, A. and Taylor, J.E. (1999) International migration at the dawn of the twenty-first ccntury: Thc role of the state. Population and Development Review, 25 :303-322.

Ofrcnco, R.P. (1998) Globalization, women and work: The Philippine cxperience. Asian Women, 7:29-54.

Ohmae, K. (1995) The End of the Nation State: The Rise of Regional Economies. New York: Free Press.

Ople, B. (1979) The Philippines overseas employment program. Philippine Labor Review, 4: 11-25.

Peck, J. (1996) Work-Place: The Social Regulation of Labor Markets. New York: The Guilford Press.

Peck, J. and Theodore, N. (1998) The business of contingent work: Growth and restructuring in Chicago's temporary employmcnt industry. Work, Employment and Society, 12:655-674.

Peck, J. and Theodore, N. (2001) Contingent Chicago: Rcstructuring the spaces of tcmporary labor. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 25:471-496.

Sassen, S. (1999) Servicing thc global economy: Reconfigured states and private agents. In Olds, K., Dicken, P., Kelly, P.F., Kong, L., and Yeung, H.W (eds.) Globalization and the Asia-Pacific: Contested Territories. New York: Routledge, pp. 149-162.

Sassen, S. (2002) Locating cities on global circuits. In Sassen, S. (ed.) Global Networks, Linked Cities. New York: Routledge, pp. 1-36.

Schocnberger, E. (1997) The Cultural Crisis of the "Firm. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell

Short, J.R. and Kim, Y.H. (1999) Globalization and the City. Singapore: Longman.

Skeldon, R. (1992) International migration within and from the East and Southeast Asian region: A review essay. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 1: 19-63.

Tyner, J.A. (1994) The social construction of gendered migration from the Philippines. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 3: 5 8 9-617.

Tyner, J.A. (1996) Constructions of Filipina migrant entertainers. Gender, Place and Culture, A Journal of feminist Geography, 3:77-93.

Tyner, J.A. (1997) Constructing images, constructing policy: The case of Filipina migrant performing artists. Gender, Place and Culture, AJournal of Feminist Geography, 4:19-35.

Tyner, J.A. (1998) Asian labor recruitment and the World Wide Web. The Professional Geographer, 50:331-344.

Tyner, J.A. (1999a) The politics of employment: Overseas job fairs and Philippine labor recruitment. Applied Geographic Studies, 3: 109-119.

Tyner, J.A. (1999b) The web-based recruitment of female foreign domestic workers in Asia. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 20: 193-209.

Tyner, J.A. (1999c) The global context of gendered labor migration from the Philippines to the United States. American Behavioral Scientist, 42:671-689.

Tyner, J.A. (2000a) Global cities and circuits of global labor: The case of Manila, Philippines. The Professional Geographer, 52:61-74.

Tyner, J.A. (2000b) The spatial structure of the Philippines' overseas employment program. Asian Geographer, 19: 13 9-15 6.

Tyner, J.A. (2000c) Migrant labor and the politics of scale: Gendering the Philippine state. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 41: 131-154.

Tyner, J.A. (2002) The globalization of transnational labor migration and the Filipino family: A narrative. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 11 :95-116.

Watters, R.E and McGee, T.G. (eds.). (1997) Asia Pacific: New Geographies of the Pacific Rim. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.

Wilbanks, T.J. (1980) Location and Well-Being: An Introduction to Economic Geography. San Francisco: Harper and Row.

Woodward, P.N. (1988) Oil and Labor in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia and the Oil Boom. New York: Praeger.