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Regulating Labour Standards via Supply Chains: Combining Public/Private Interventions to Improve Workplace Compliance


  • David Weil
  • Carlos Mallo


Concern over global labour standards has led to a profusion of non-governmental forms of regulation. Systematic evaluation of these systems has been very limited to date. This article empirically explores an innovative system to regulate labour standards in the US garment industry combining public enforcement power and private monitoring, thereby drawing on different elements of global labour standards systems. We examine the impact of this system over time and in two distinct markets on employer compliance with minimum wage laws and find that these initiatives are associated with substantial reductions in minimum wage violations. The system therefore offers a useful model for international labour standards regulatory systems. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • David Weil & Carlos Mallo, 2007. "Regulating Labour Standards via Supply Chains: Combining Public/Private Interventions to Improve Workplace Compliance," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(4), pages 791-814, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:45:y:2007:i:4:p:791-814

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kimberly Ann Elliott & Richard B. Freeman, 2003. "Can Labor Standards Improve under Globalization?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 338.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chikako Oka, 2016. "Improving Working Conditions in Garment Supply Chains: The Role of Unions in Cambodia," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 54(3), pages 647-672, September.
    2. Walters, David., 2010. "The role of worker representation and consultation in managing health and safety in the construction industry," ILO Working Papers 994553103402676, International Labour Organization.
    3. repec:ilo:ilowps:430295 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Chonnikarn Fern Jira & Michael W. Toffel, 2011. "Engaging Supply Chains in Climate Change," Harvard Business School Working Papers 12-026, Harvard Business School, revised Oct 2012.
    5. Gregory Jackson & Sarosh Kuruvilla & Carola Frege, 2013. "Across Boundaries: The Global Challenges Facing Workers and Employment Research 50th Anniversary Special Issue," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 51(3), pages 425-439, September.
    6. Andrea R. Hugill & Jodi L. Short & Michael W. Toffel, 2016. "Beyond Symbolic Responses to Private Politics: Examining Labor Standards Improvement in Global Supply Chains," Harvard Business School Working Papers 17-001, Harvard Business School.
    7. Lone Riisgaard & Nikolaus Hammer, 2011. "Prospects for Labour in Global Value Chains: Labour Standards in the Cut Flower and Banana Industries," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 49(1), pages 168-190, March.
    8. repec:ilo:ilowps:455310 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:cog:poango:v:5:y:2017:i:4:p:60-68 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Christina Niforou, 2015. "Labour Leverage in Global Value Chains: The Role of Interdependencies and Multi-level Dynamics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 130(2), pages 301-311, August.
    11. Faundez, Julio., 2005. "A view on international labour standards, labour law and MSEs," ILO Working Papers 994302953402676, International Labour Organization.

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