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Have factories been a force for improving the conditions of ordinary workers? And what comes next for the factory in an increasingly service-driven age?

The factory age began with a thunderclap, the climax to a tale of espionage, assassination, and vaulting ambition. Factories have absorbed our attention ever since, from the "dark Satanic mills" of William Blake's poem, to the conditions that obsessed Engels and Marx, through to the vast industrial parks of Shenzhen, where iconic consumer products are assembled. Tim Harford asks if factories have been a force for improving the conditions of ordinary workers? And what comes next for the factory in an increasingly service-driven age?

Producer: Ben Crighton
Editor: Richard Vadon

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14 minutes

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