Theory of Markets, Poverty and Development, Labor, Entrepreneurship, City Formation, Urban Issues, Altruism and Charity

Chris Blattman on Sweatshops

If you were a poor person in a poor country, would you prefer steady work in a factory or to be your own boss, buying and selling in the local market? Economist Chris Blattman of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about experimental evidence on how poor people choose in the labor market and the consequences for their income, health, and satisfaction.
EconTalk (Podcasts)
George Borjas on Immigration and We Wanted Workers

George Borjas of Harvard University and author of We Wanted Workers talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about immigration and the challenges of measuring the impact of increased immigration on American workers and consumers. The discussion also looks at the cultural impact of immigration and...


For an American audience, the lead of the Blattman/Dercon paper is buried five pages from the end: The managers... made efforts to add non-wage benefits, such as free transport, free clinics, and in some cases a free meal at a canteen. They appeared less likely to raise wages, however, and often failed to keep pace with inflation and keep real wages constant. While the authors are right to question the generalizability of the study, it's hard not to draw comparisons to practices even in developed countries. Instead of seeking real wage improvements or the opportunities from "informal employment", US workers are quick to opt for the perceived benefit of stability from institutionalized formal employment offerings.

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High School Economics Topics

Econlib ResourceHigh School Economics Topics Introduction The National Council on Economic Education (NCEE) has compiled a list of the 51 key economics concepts common to all U.S. State requirements for high school classes in economics. The readings and podcasts arranged here supplement these recommended N...

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