Layna Mosley

Layna Mosley

Professor of Political Science, Princeton University
Areas of Expertise:

About Layna

Mosley's research focuses on the politics of the global economy. She has written extensively on the effects of multinational production and global supply chains on workers rights in developing countries, as well as how trade policies might lead to improvements in labor rights. A second strand of Mosley's research focuses on government borrowing and debt: she has explored the ways in which professional investors evaluate government policies and political events, and how these assessments affect governments' capacity to borrow. More generally, Mosley is interested in the governance of global economic relations, including finance as well as trade. Mosley was a Fulbright Research Scholar in Berlin in Fall 2017.

In the News

"Global Supply Chains and Labor Rights: Any Reasons for Optimism?," Layna Mosley, The Policy Space, May 11, 2017.
"Why Trump's Potential Restrictions on Highly Skilled Immigration Could Shift Jobs Overseas," Layna Mosley, Monkey Cage, The Washington Post, March 22, 2017.
""America First" Will Set Back U.S. and NC Economies," Layna Mosley, The News & Observer, February 4, 2017.
"Does Globalization Hurt Poor Workers? It's Complicated," Layna Mosley, The Washington Post, September 15, 2016.


Labor Rights and Multinational Production (Cambridge University Press, 2011).

Explores the relationship between multinational production and workers rights. Employs both statistical analyses, presenting new data on collective labor rights for a wide range of countries; and on qualitative analyses. Draws a distinction between the effects on workers of directly owned versus subcontracted production.

"Protecting Workers Abroad and Industries at Home: Rights-Based Conditionality in Trade Preference Programs" (with Emilie M. Hafner-Burton and Robert Galantucci). Journal of Conflict Resolution (forthcoming): 1-30.

Investigates the use of labor-related conditions in trade agreements. Focuses on the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences program and evaluates the extent to which conditions are used to address labor issues, versus being employed as a means of veiled protectionism.

Global Capital and National Governments (Cambridge University Press, 2003).

Investigates the implications of financial openness for government policymaking, via an exploration of sovereign debt. Uses interviews, archival evidence, and statistical analyses to assess the extent to which investors' attention to default risk and to government policies varies across countries and over time. 

"Categories, Creditworthiness, and Contagion: How Investors' Shortcuts Affect Sovereign Debt Markets" (with Sarah M. Brooks and Raphael Cunha). International Studies Quarterly 59, no. 3 (2014): 587-601.

Argues that professional investors tend to sort sovereign borrowers into categories, based on geography, marker development or creditworthiness; and that these categorizations help to explain governments' cost of capital. Helps to explain contagion and diffusion of risk, in crises as well as in "normal" periods of market operation.

"Chains of Love? Global Production and the Firm-Level Diffusion of Labor Standards" (with Edmund J. Malesky). American Journal of Political Science 68, no. 3 (2018).

Investigates the effect of global supply chain relationships on firms' willingness to invest in labor-related upgrading. Focuses on firms based in Vietnam, and considers how these firms respond differently to varying foreign economic opportunities.