Out of Poverty
Sweatshops in the Global Economy
- Author: Benjamin Powell, The Free Market Institute, Texas Tech University
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This book provides a comprehensive defense of third-world sweatshops. It explains how these sweatshops provide the best available opportunity to workers and how they play an important role in the process of development that eventually leads to better wages and working conditions. Using economic theory, the author argues that much of what the anti-sweatshop movement has agitated for would actually harm the very workers they intend to help by creating less desirable alternatives and undermining the process of development. Nowhere does this book put 'profits' or 'economic efficiency' above people. Improving the welfare of poorer citizens of third world countries is the goal, and the book explores which methods best achieve that goal. Out of Poverty will help readers understand how activists and policy makers can help third world workers.Read more
- Systematically uses economic theory in a way that should be accessible to both lay people and academics
- Written to appeal to people across a wide ideological spectrum
- Inaugural book in Cambridge Studies in Economics, Choice, and Society, edited by Peter J. Boettke and Timur Kuran, a new interdisciplinary series of theoretical and empirical research focusing on individual choice, institutions, and social outcomes
- A Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2015
Reviews & endorsements
'This eloquent book makes the compassionate case for sweatshops in poor countries as what poor workers voluntarily select as employers because they are better than the alternatives. It is uncommonly clear in this book that the economists' case for sweatshops is based on what's best for the workers, not what's best for efficiency or profits or First World consumers.' William Easterly, Co-Director, Development Research Institute, New York University, and author of The White Man's Burden and The Elusive Quest for GrowthSee more reviews
'Ben Powell has written a brilliant and thought-provoking book on sweatshops. He challenges a number of critical beliefs about them which, although springing from concern about the poor, lead to policies that will harm the poor. No policymakers, especially in aid and development agencies like USAID and UNDP, can afford to ignore this masterly book.' Jagdish Bhagwati, Columbia University, and author of In Defense of Globalization
'The term 'sweatshops' is a dirty word to students on American campuses and activists around the world, implying exploited workers toiling in horrible conditions for long hours at low pay. Powell's splendid new book gives us another perspective: how workers view sweatshops as an opportunity for improving their economic condition. Indeed, countless Americans, Japanese, and others enjoy their high standard of today living because their grandmothers and grandfathers worked in sweatshops a century ago.' Douglas Irwin, Dartmouth College, and author of Free Trade Under Fire
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- Date Published: April 2014
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9781139898720
- contains: 9 b/w illus. 6 tables
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
2. The anti-sweatshop movement
3. The economics of sweatshop wage determination
4. Don't cry for me Kathie Lee: how sweatshop wages compare to alternatives
5. Health, safety, and working conditions laws
6. Save the children?
7. Is it ethical to buy sweatshop products?
8. A history of sweatshops, 1780–2010
9. The process of economic development
10. What good can activists do?
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