Ratcheting Labor Standards: Regulation for Continuous Improvement in the Global Workplace

Charles F. Sabel, Columbia Law School
Archon Fung, Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)
Dara O'Rourke


It is a brute fact of contemporary globalization - unmistakable as activists and journalists catalog scandal after scandal – that the very transformations making possible higher quality, cheaper products often lead to unacceptable conditions of work: brutal use of child labor, dangerous environments, punishingly long days, starvation wages, discrimination, suppression of expression and association. In all quarters, the question is not whether to address these conditions, but how.