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A Case against Child Labor Prohibitions

July 29, 2014 in Economics

Provisions against child labor are part of the International Labor Organization’s core labor standards. Anti-sweatshop groups almost universally condemn child labor and call for laws prohibiting child employment or boycotting products made with child labor. But a new paper from Benjamin Powell argues that much of what the anti-sweatshop movement agitates for would harm the very children they intend to help. Powell contends that the process of economic development, in which sweatshops play an important role, is the best way to raise wages and improve working conditions.

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