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Working Hours in Supply Chain Chinese and Thai Factories: Evidence from the Fair Labor Association's ‘Soccer Project’


  • Russell Smyth and Ingrid Nielsen are at Monash University. Xiaolei Qian and Ines Kaempfer are at the Fair Labor Association.


This article examines the determinants of working excessive hours, defined as working in excess of 60 hours per week or for more than six consecutive days, in Chinese and Thai supply chain factories. We use a matched employer–employee dataset collected from 15 Chinese and Thai footwear and sporting apparel supply chain factories, which supply international brands. Matched employer–employee data allow us to examine the effect of worker and firm characteristics on hours worked. We find that in addition to the demographic and human capital characteristics of workers, firm-level characteristics and worker awareness of how to refuse overtime are important in explaining variation in hours worked.