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Sweatshop Equilibrium

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  • Chau, Nancy

    ()
    (Cornell University)

Abstract

This paper presents a capability-augmented model of on the job search, in which sweatshop conditions stifle the capability of the working poor to search for a job while on the job. The augmented setting unveils a sweatshop equilibrium in an otherwise archetypal Burdett-Mortensen economy, and reconciles a number of oft noted yet perplexing features of sweatshop economies. We demonstrate existence of multiple rational expectation equilibria, graduation pathways out of sweatshops in complete absence of enforcement, and country-specific efficiency and distributional responses to competitive forces and social safety nets depending precisely on whether graduation criteria are met.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4363.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4363

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Related research

Keywords: sweatshop equilibrium; on the job search; capability deficits;

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References

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  1. Drusilla K. Brown, 2000. "International Trade and Core Labor Standards: A Survey of the Recent Literature," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0005, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  2. Banerjee, Biswajit & Bucci, Gabriella A, 1995. "On-the-Job Search in a Developing Country: An Analysis Based on Indian Data on Migrants," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(3), pages 565-83, April.
  3. Benjamin Powell & David Skarbek, 2006. "Sweatshops and Third World Living Standards: Are the Jobs Worth the Sweat?," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 27(2), pages 263-274, April.
  4. Arnab K. Basu & Nancy H. Chau, 2003. "Targeting Child Labor in Debt Bondage: Evidence, Theory, and Policy Implications," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 255-281, December.
  5. Fields, Gary S., 1989. "On-the-job search in a labor market model : Ex ante choices and ex post outcomes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 159-178, January.
  6. Carol Ann Rogers & Kenneth A. Swinnerton, 2008. "A theory of exploitative child labor," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 20-41, January.
  7. Arnab K. Basu & Nancy H. Chau, 2004. "Exploitation of Child Labor and the Dynamics of Debt Bondage," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 209-238, 06.
  8. Brown, D.K. & deardroff, A.V. & Stern, R.M., 1997. "Issues of Environmental and Labor Standards in the Global Trading System," Papers 97-10, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  9. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
  10. Blau, David M, 1991. "Search for Nonwage Job Characteristics: A Test of the Reservation Wage Hypothesis," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 186-205, April.
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Blog mentions

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  1. Sweatshop equilibrium
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-09-22 14:59:00

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