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Welcome! I am a postdoctoral research scholar at the Economics Division and at the Chazen Institute for Global Business at Columbia Business School. In July 2020, I will join the Economics Division at Columbia Business School as an assistant professor.

My research primarily focuses on working conditions, labor rights, and firm productivity in developing countries. I am particularly interested in multinational companies’ efforts to influence conditions upstream in their supply chains.

 

 

Curriculum Vitae (Link)

E-mail: l.boudreau@columbia.edu

 

Working Papers

Multinational enforcement of labor law: Experimental evidence from Bangladesh’s apparel sector (Job Market Paper)

Media coverage: The Daily Star (Bangladesh)

Abstract: Western stakeholders are increasingly demanding that multinationals sourcing from developing countries be accountable for labor rights and working conditions upstream in their supply chains. In response, many multinationals privately enforce labor standards in these countries, but the effects of their interventions on local firms and workers are unknown. I partnered with a set of multinational retail and apparel firms to enforce local labor laws on their suppliers in Bangladesh. I implemented a randomized controlled trial with 84 Bangladeshi garment factories, randomly enforcing a mandate for worker-manager safety committees in 41 supplier establishments. The intervention significantly improves compliance with the labor law. It also has a small, positive effect on indicators of safety committees’ effectiveness, including measures of physical safety and awareness. Factories with better managerial practices drive these improvements. In contrast, factories with poor managerial practices do not improve compliance or safety, and in these factories, workers’ job satisfaction declines.

Migrants, information, and working conditions in Bangladeshi Garment Factories  – with Rachel Heath and Tyler McCormick

Abstract: A significant portion of the labor force in many large factories in developing countries consists of internal migrants from rural areas, who may have little information about the industry upon beginning work. We examine the relationship between workers’ migration status and the working conditions they face in the garment industry in Bangladesh. We use a retrospective panel of the wages and working conditions of 991 garment workers (matched to the factories they work in) collected in 2009. We document that migrants are in firms with higher wages but worse working conditions, but as their careers progress, they have higher mobility than locals as they move toward firms with better conditions. These facts are consistent with a model in which migrants are poorly informed about working conditions upon beginning work but learn more as they gain experience in the industry.

Workplace safety and employment decisions: Evidence from an information experiment with Bangladeshi garment workers

 

Work in Progress

Social norms and firm productivity: Evidence from two experiments in Bangladeshi garment factories – with Sakib Mahmood and Oren Reshef

Unpacking managerial “style”: How do good managers improve productivity? (with Sakib Mahmood and Oren Reshef)

Bottom-up monitoring in global supply chains: Worker voice platforms, working conditions, and supplier-buyer relationships

Public-private partnerships as a commitment device: Evidence from Mexican disaster insurance – with Alejandro del Valle and Liam Wren-Lewis