White Hats or Don Quixotes? Human Rights Vigilantes in the Global Economy
With the continuing expansion of global economic integration, labor standards in developing countries have become a hot button issue. One result has been a proliferation of efforts to use the market to put pressure directly on multinational corporations to improve wages and working conditions in their overseas operations and to insist that their suppliers do so as well. This paper analyzes the dynamics of these efforts in terms of a 'market for standards' in which consumers, stimulated by human rights activists, demand that corporations improve working conditions in supplier factories. The paper presents evidence that such a consumer demand exists and analyzes the incentives corporations face to respond to it. It examines the nature of the critical intermediary role played by activists in stimulating consumer demands and assesses the outcomes in the major anti-sweatshop campaigns of the 1990s. The paper also addresses the limitations of such consumer-based campaigns and the concern expressed by some that these activist campaigns may do more harm than good, by deterring investment in and trade with poor countries. It concludes with an overall assessment of when 'doing good' actually does good.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2001|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as White Hats or Don Quixotes? Human Rights Vigilantes in the Global Economy , Kimberly Ann. Elliott, Richard B. Freeman. in Emerging Labor Market Institutions for the Twenty-First Century , Freeman, Hersch, and Mishel. 2005|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jeffrey J. Schott & Kimberly Ann Elliott, 1990. "Economic Sanctions Reconsidered: 2nd Edition," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 82.
- Richard B. Freeman, 1997.
"Spurts in Union Growth: Defining Moments and Social Processes,"
NBER Working Papers
6012, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Richard B. Freeman, 1998. "Spurts in Union Growth: Defining Moments and Social Processes," NBER Chapters, in: The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century, pages 265-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Freeman, Richard Barry, 1997.
"Working for Nothing: The Supply of Volunteer Labor,"
4632239, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Freeman, Richard B, 1997. "Working for Nothing: The Supply of Volunteer Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages S140-66, January.
- Richard B. Freeman, 1996. "Working for Nothing: The Supply of Volunteer Labor," NBER Working Papers 5435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
7656, David K. Levine.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Michael D. Bordo & Claudia Goldin & Eugene N. White, 1998. "The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bord98-1, December.
- Brown, D.K. & Dearorff, A.V. & Stern, R.M., 1993. "International Labor Standards and Trade: A Theoretical Analysis," Working Papers 333, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8102. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.