Do Sweatshops Reduce Poverty?

Economics and ethics of low-paying factories in Ethiopia, which some might call “sweatshops”. Do they make their workers better off, relative to those people’s outside options? Professor Chris Blattman has run some well-designed randomized controlled trials exploring this question, and he discusses what surprised him and how he’s updated his views from his research. Julia and Chris also discuss an innovative program to reduce crime in Liberia using cognitive behavioral therapy.
Chris’s Paper: “Occupational Choice in Early Industrializing Societies: Experimental Evidence on the Income and Health Effects of Industrial and Entrepreneurial Work”
Chris’s Blog Post: “Books development economists and aid workers seldom read but should?”
Photo: An Ethiopian family in search for food from fleeing remote villages where wells have dried up due to drought arrive in Korom, northeast Ethiopia November 24, 2004.

Rationally Speaking | 8th January 2017