Markets in everything, China edition
By Ezra Klein
One of the big stories in China has been a spate of suicides and suicide attempts at Foxconn, a major manufacturer that employs 800,000 workers and produces, among other things, Apple's iPad. As someone who's read a lot of Tyler Cowen in my day, this passage from China Daily's report caught my eye:
Zhang said the company has never talked with them about the suicides and did not disclose the compensation amount, rumored at about 100,000 yuan ($14,600).
Prodded by reporters, Gou said on Wednesday he was taking the injury contract back because its language was not appropriate.
But he noted the company will reduce the amount of compensation, since "high amount of compensation may encourage suicides".
Also interesting was this editorial arguing that the suicides among low-wage laborers "are but extreme examples of the problems caused by China's traditional development pattern" and they highlight the need for China to develop more businesses where they control the intellectual property and keep the profits rather than simply administer the worst, and least profitable, elements of the production process.
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