Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 117, Issue 3, pp 553–558

The Ethical and Economic Case for Sweatshop Regulation


DOI: 10.1007/s10551-012-1540-y

Cite this article as:
Coakley, M. & Kates, M. J Bus Ethics (2013) 117: 553. doi:10.1007/s10551-012-1540-y


Three types of objections have been raised against sweatshops. According to their critics, sweatshops are (1) exploitative, (2) coercive, and (3) harmful to workers. In “The Ethical and Economic Case Against Sweatshop Labor: A Critical Assessment,” Powell and Zwolinski critique all three objections and thereby offer what is arguably the most powerful defense of sweatshops in the philosophical literature to date. This article demonstrates that, whether or not unregulated sweatshops are exploitative or coercive, they are, pace Powell and Zwolinski, harmful to workers.


Sweatshops Minimum wage Labor law 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GovernmentLondon School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK
  2. 2.Program in Political Philosophy, Policy, and LawUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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