Tuesday, July 12, 2005
I just read an interesting paper that attempts to study this question using rigorous economic methods. The conclusion the author reaches is yes. Here's the abstract:
Modern coerced labor is a significant global phenomenon, but has been seldom studied empirically. This paper estimates production functions for a set of Chinese prison-labor factories. It finds significant evidence that such factories are managed in a way consistent with the incentives of profit maximization and that, contrary to the findings of earlier work, they are profitable.
The paper is as follows:
Osborne, Evan, "Some Economics of Chinese Prison Labor" (September 2004). http://ssrn.com/abstract=624601