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Used Clothes As Development Aid: The political economy of rags

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Author Info

  • Wicks, Rick

    (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

  • Bigsten, Arne

    (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

Should Swedish used-clothes exports continue to be subsidized as development aid? Theoretical analysis and review of empirical evidence regarding effects of both commercial and charitable (subsidized) used-clothes imports in LDCs. Includes statistics on the world used-clothes trade, including 127 gross used-clothes- exporting countries and 181 importing countries in 1990 (with values, weights, average prices, and weights-per-capita), and some specifics of U.S. and Swedish imports and exports. Discussion of images of the trade in labor and popular media; trends in national trade policies and practices; NGO attitudes and involvement; similar issues with food aid; and excerpts regarding the trade in 18th century Britain. Conclusion: Greater benefits are possible for poor people with a more imaginative approach. Poor people who need clothes need many things. Used clothes can be sold and the proceeds used, along with erstwhile subsidy funds, for income-generating projects. A possible exception: if supply has broken down due to catastrophe, and clothing is not available in the market.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 17.

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Length: 161 pages
Date of creation: 01 Feb 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0017

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Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
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Keywords: used clothes; second-hand; imports; exports; LDCs; development aid;

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  1. Ribar, David C. & Wilhelm, Mark O., 1995. "Charitable Contributions to International Relief and Development," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(2), pages 229-44, June.
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