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Global Standards and the Dynamics of Environmental Compliance in India's Leather Industry

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  • Meenu Tewari
  • Poonam Pillai

Abstract

Under what conditions can small suppliers and small-firm-dominated industries comply with stringent standards without compromising their trade competitiveness? This question is at the heart of a controversial debate about the emergence of environmental standards as a new variable in global trade and market access. There are few documented cases of success and the literature remains sceptical about the ability of small supplier firms to comply with stringent environmental regulations. This paper draws on the Indian leather industry's relatively effective compliance with two German bans on Azo dyes and PCPs to argue that the supposed trade-off between environmental compliance and export competitiveness is not inevitable. Critical to India's compliance with the PCP and Azo dye ban was not merely private governance mediated by lead firms and global buyers but also the institutionalization of compliance by the Indian state, which became deeply involved in diffusing the new standards. The paper examines how and why the state got involved in ways that generated—and sustained—a process of negotiated collective action and broad-based environmental compliance by a small-firm-dominated sector.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 33 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 245-267

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Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:33:y:2005:i:2:p:245-267

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Cited by:
  1. Roy, Chandan Roy, 2013. "An Expository Analysis on Environmental Compliance of Indian Leather Industry," MPRA Paper 47685, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Apr 2013.
  2. Richard Perkins & Eric Neumayer, 2012. "Does the ‘California effect’ operate across borders? trading- and investing-up in automobile emission standards," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 42097, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Sacchidananda Mukherjee & Debashis Chakraborty, 2007. "Environment, Human Development and Economic Growth after Liberalisation : An Analysis of Indian States," Development Economics Working Papers 22505, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  4. Roy, Chandan, 2012. "A Study on Environmental Compliance of Indian Leather Industry & its Far-reaching Impact on Leather Exports," MPRA Paper 41386, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2012.
  5. Mukherjee, Sacchidananda & Chakraborty, Debashis, 2009. "Is there any relationship between Environmental Quality Index, Human Development Index and Economic Growth? Evidences from Indian States," MPRA Paper 17207, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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