Sweatshop Regulation: Tradeoffs and Welfare Judgements

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5 Scopus citations


The standard economic and ethical case in defense of sweatshops employs the standard of the “welfare of their workers and potential workers” to argue that sweatshop regulations harm the very people they intend to help. Scholars have recently contended that once the benefits and costs are balanced, regulations do, in fact, raise worker welfare. This paper describes the short and long-run tradeoffs associated with sweatshop regulation and then examines how reasonable constructions of measures of “worker welfare” would evaluate these tradeoffs finding that the standard economic and ethical case against sweatshop regulations is well supported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-36
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Labor law
  • Minimum wage
  • Sweatshop


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