Policy highlights:

  • Industrial employment has been much debated. Optimists see it as an opportunity for a stable source of income and pessimists emphasize the dull work and often poor labour conditions.
  • Explorative research in Ethiopia shows that factory jobs can lead to substantial reductions in poverty and income risk and increases in health and, most importantly, subjective well-being. The latter was rated 35% higher for the treatment group compared with the control group.
  • Although the results are explorative and should be treated with caution, this research suggests that employment opportunities provided by large factories can contribute to the well-being of the poor.
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