Episode Six: Offshore Labour, Human Capital, and Economic Development

photo credit: <a href='http://www.flickr.com/photos/bbcworldservice/3346703898/'>bbcworldservice</a>

photo credit: bbcworldservice

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When you shop for clothes, are you disturbed by the idea that your new shirt might have been made in a factory in a developing country, with low wages, and substandard conditions? And as a consumer, what can you do to help improve those conditions?
In this episode we tackle the question "To buy, or not to buy?" when it comes to clothing or goods that may have come from a sweatshop.

 

In our exploration of this subject, we'll hear from economist Benjamin Powell, and labour activist and former sweatshop worker Kalpona Akter. They'll give us their perspectives on the relationship between wages, productivity, and a country's economic development.
We'll also hear from a representative of a development partnership project which audits working conditions in developing countries, from the manager of a garment factory in Port Au Prince, and from the founder of a humanitarian aid charity working in Haiti.
They'll all weigh in on whether boycotts are the best way to help improve the dangerous conditions, long hours and low pay found in sweatshop factories.
It's a question that has elicited a lot of debate, research and analysis, which you'll also see reflected in the work of economists like Paul Krugman, and influential writers like Nicholas Kristof to name a few.