Working conditions and factory survival: Evidence from better factories Cambodia

Raymond Robertson, Drusilla Brown, Rajeev Dehejia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A large and growing literature has identified several conditions, including exporting, that contribute to plant survival. A prevailing sentiment suggests that anti-sweatshop activity against plants in developing countries adds to the risk of closure, making survival more difficult by imposing external constraints that may interfere with optimizing behavior. Using a relatively new plant-level panel data set from Cambodia, this paper applies survival analysis to estimate the relationship between changes in working conditions and plant closure. The results find little, if any, evidence that improving working conditions increases the probability of closure. In fact, some evidence suggests that improvements in standards relating to compensation are positively correlated with the probability of plant survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-254
Number of pages27
JournalReview of Development Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • apparel
  • closure
  • plant survival
  • sweatshops
  • working conditions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


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