Wed, 26 July 2017
Chris Blattman is a development economist who routinely conducts experiments to test ideas related to reducing poverty and improving the well being of people living in poorer countries. His latest experiment takes on the question of sweatshops--whether they are good for the poor, exploitative, or something else.
Along with his colleague Stefan Dercon, Chris went to Ethiopia and — performed the first randomized trial of industrial employment on workers. They went to five factories and followed the 947 applicants who were and were not offered the job over a year, surveying them multiple times.They found that most people who got a job ended up quitting within a few months--and they did so for very good reasons.
As Chris and Stefan wrote in an New York Times op-ed about their research, everything they thought they knew about sweatshops turned out to be wrong.
Regular listeners, of course, will recognize Chris' name from a profile episode we did a couple of years ago in which Chris describes how he became so interested in development economics and also some of his ground breaking research on unconditional cash transfers to extremely poor people in Uganda.
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