What is the impact of exporting on factory working conditions?

There is a long-standing debate over the impact of global trade on workers and firms in
developing countries. In this project, Mari Tanaka investigates the causal effect of exporting on working conditions and firm performance in Myanmar. The analysis draws on a new survey she conducted on Myanmar manufacturing firms from 2013 to 2015. Using the rapid opening of Myanmar to foreign trade after 2011 alongside identification strategies that exploit product, geographic and industry variations, she obtains causal estimates of the impact of trade. Tanaka find that exporting has large positive impacts on working conditions in terms of improved fire safety, health-care, union recognition, and wages. The results also indicate that exporting increases firm sales, employment, management practice scores, and the likelihood of receiving a labor audit, which is typically required by foreign buyers.

You can now view the working paper, research note and project summary for this project.