Laura Boudreau

Laura is Lead Academic for IGC Bangladesh.

She is an Assistant Professor in the Economics Division at Columbia Business School. Her research primarily focuses on working conditions, labour rights, and firm productivity in developing countries. She is especially interested in how the intersection of global supply chains with local institutions affect firms’ and workers’ outcomes and how labour market institutions affect economic development.

Content by Laura Boudreau
  • Publication - Project Report

    Resilient jobs to support Bangladesh’s economic development and equity

    This draft paper identifies eight key opportunities for Bangladesh’s labour market to further support economic development that is inclusive and equitable for all Bangladeshis. In outlining the eight key opportunities, the paper discusses related academic literature, suggests policy and research directions, and identifies the main government agencies responsible for these...

    15 Oct 2021 | Laura Boudreau, Farria Naeem

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    The economic effects of COVID-19 on garment factories in Bangladesh

    COVID-19 poses a challenge to the future of Bangladesh’s apparel sector and its economy. This research provides evidence on its economic impact from a survey with a representative random sample of members from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exports Association (BGMEA)’s members. Our survey shows that, on average, BGMEA member factories experienced a...

    13 Oct 2021 | Laura Boudreau, Farria Naeem

  • Project

    Economic impacts of COVID-19 on workers and firms in Bangladesh's garment sector

    The COVID-19 pandemic is striking the global apparel value chain extremely hard from multiple directions. Apparel sectors in developing countries, which play critical roles in these countries’ industrialisation and economic growth, are arguably most vulnerable to this shock. In Bangladesh, where the apparel sector constitutes more than 80% of exports, the Bangladesh...

    1 Nov 2020 | Laura Boudreau, Farria Naeem, Rachel Heath

  • Blog post

    Social norms and firm productivity in Bangladeshi garment factories

    Low firm productivity in developing countries presents a key barrier to economic development. Existing economic literature largely focuses on the effects of managers’ and workers’ behaviours on firm productivity (e.g., misallocation of female labour inside the firm). In contrast, we ask why certain behaviours that negatively impact firm productivity arise. We focus on...

    28 Feb 2020 | Laura Boudreau, Noam Yuchtman, Oren Reshef, Sakib Ifetkh Mahmood

  • Blog post

    Improving labour standards: Enforcement interventions by multinationals in Bangladesh

    When MNCs enforce garment factory Safety Committee law on external suppliers, compliance and safety indicators improve. Importantly, the degree to which they improve depends on the supplier’s organisational capacity. In developing countries, governments often lack the capacity or the political will to update and enforce regulations (Dal Bó and Finan, 2016), including...

    6 Feb 2020 | Laura Boudreau

  • Project

    Scoping visit on evidence and voice for minimum wage revisions

    Across the globe, workers and unions have played a key role in raising minimum wages through participation at policy dialogues or strikes. Their expectations about minimum wages and the ways they influence policy dialogue are important for sustainable industry growth. While minimum wage may ensure fair compensation for workers, it may come at the cost of firm closures and...

    10 Oct 2019 | Virginia Minni, Mari Tanaka, Laura Boudreau

  • Publication - Working Paper

    Migrants, information, and working conditions in Bangladeshi garment factories

    15 Jun 2018 | Laura Boudreau, Rachel Heath

  • Project

    Demand-driven, private sector enforcement of labour law in Bangladesh

    Global supply chains often extend into weak states with limited social and environmental regulations and with little formal enforcement of existing regulations. Integration into global supply chains provides benefits to firms and workers in these countries (Tanaka, 2016; Atkin et al., 2016). But lack of regulation and lack of enforcement of existing regulation also carry...

    25 Jan 2018 | Noam Yuchtman, Laura Boudreau

  • Project

    Understanding workers’ knowledge of working conditions in Bangladeshi garment factories

    The garment industry has revolutionised the lives of many people, particularly women, in Bangladesh.  Women have received greater educational investments and postponed marriage and childbearing, and achieved better autonomy household decision-making, the choice of spouse, and the choice to leave abusive marriages.  However, these workers can also face very tough working...

    9 Jan 2017 | Laura Boudreau, Rachel Heath