We use a new data set to compare the living standards provided by “sweatshop wages” to alternative living standards in the countries where sweatshops are located. We find that sweatshop pay compares favorably with widespread poverty-living standards in alternative jobs in these countries and often even compare favorably with average living standards. Anti-sweatshop activists must recognize these facts.

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Towhid Mahmood is a research assistant at the Free Market Institute and a PhD student in economics at Texas Tech University.
Benjamin Powell is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute and Director of the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University.
AsiaInternational Economics and DevelopmentLabor Law and RegulationLaw and Liberty
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