Export led growth, pro-poor or not? Evidence from Madagascar's textile and apparel industry
AbstractMadagascar's textile and apparel industry has been among the fastest growing in Sub-Saharan Africa. Fueled by low labor costs, a fairly productive labor force, and preferential access to industrial countries, Madagascar's exports of textile and apparel products grew from about US$45 million in 1990 to almost half a billion in 2001. The impact of this export surge has been large in terms of employment and wages, but less so in terms of poverty reduction. To address the concern of whether the poor benefit and to what extent, the author follows a new approach to identify the beneficiaries of globalization and to quantify the benefits at the household level, so as to understand which segments of the population benefit most and which, if any, are marginalized. The analysis focuses on the labor market channel which has been recognized as the main transmission between economic growth and poverty. The methodology uses household level data and combines the wage premium literature with matching methods. The results point to a strong variation in the distribution of the benefits from export growth with skilled workers and urban areas benefiting most. From a poverty perspective, export-led growth in the textile and apparel sector has only a small effect on overall poverty. This study points to two reasons for this. First, a large majority of the poor are unable to enjoy the new employment opportunities, given their lack of skills sought by the expanding textile and apparel export industry. Second, most of the poor reside in rural areas where the employment effect is small. The results indicate that the effects of an increase in exports of textiles for poverty reduction are felt only in urban areas, mostly through job creation. Some of the urban poor are good candidates for finding employment in the expanding sector. But the urban poor are likely to find employment only in unskilled jobs. Given that unskilled wages are kept low by a large reserve labor sector, the gains are limited, and the overall impact on poverty is small. More generally, the results of this study suggest that two factors are required if export-led economic growth is to significantly reduce poverty. First, growth and job creation must not be restricted to a few geographic areas but need to reach areas where the majority of the poor live. Second, poor people must be assisted in obtaining the skills sought by expanding industries.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3841.
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Labor Markets; Achieving Shared Growth; Water and Industry; Economic Theory&Research; Economic Conditions and Volatility;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sherman, Robinson & Robilliard, Anne-Sophie & Bourguignon, François, 2005.
"Representative versus real households in the macro-economic modelling of inequality,"
Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine
123456789/4535, Paris Dauphine University.
- François Bourguignon & Anne-Sophie Robilliard & Sherman Robinson, 2003. "Representative versus real households in the macro-economic modeling of inequality," DELTA Working Papers 2003-05, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
- François Bourguignon & Anne-Sophie Robilliard & Sherman Robinson, 2003. "Representative versus real households in the macro-economic modeling of inequality," Working Papers DT/2003/10, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
- Nicita, Alessandro & Razzaz, Susan, 2003. "Who benefits and how much? : how gender affects welfare impacts of a booming textile industry," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3029, The World Bank.
- Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
- Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
- Harrison, Glenn W. & Rutherford, Thomas F. & Tarr,David & Gurgel, Angelo, 2003. "Regional, multilateral, and unilateral trade policies on MERCOSUR for growth and poverty reduction in Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3051, The World Bank.
- L. Alan Winters & Neil McCulloch & Andrew McKay, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Poverty: The Evidence So Far," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 72-115, March.
- Mattias Lundberg & Lyn Squire, 2003. "The simultaneous evolution of growth and inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(487), pages 326-344, 04.
- John P. Haisken-DeNew & Christoph M. Schmidt, .
"Inter-Industry and Inter-Region Differentials: Mechanics and Interpretation,"
9504, SELAPO Center for Human Resources.
- John P. Haisken-DeNew & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2000. "Interindustry and Interregion Differentials: Mechanics and Interpretation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(3), pages 516-521, August.
- Hertel, Thomas W. & Reimer, Jeffrey J., 2004.
"Predicting the poverty impacts of trade reform,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
3444, The World Bank.
- Thomas W. Hertel & Jeffrey J. Reimer, 2006. "Predicting the Poverty Impacts of Trade Reform," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 2, May.
- Thomas Hertel & Jeffrey Reimer, 2005. "Predicting the poverty impacts of trade reform," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 377-405.
- Mikael Lindahl & Alan B. Krueger, 2001.
"Education for Growth: Why and for Whom?,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1101-1136, December.
- Alan Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 2000. "Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?," Working Papers 808, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Alan B. Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 2000. "Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?," NBER Working Papers 7591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Helwege, Jean, 1992. "Sectoral Shifts and Interindustry Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(1), pages 55-84, January.
- Bruno, Michael & Ravallion, Martin & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "Equity and growth in developing countries : old and new perspectives on the policy issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1563, The World Bank.
- Hanson, Gordon H, 1997. "Increasing Returns, Trade and the Regional Structure of Wages," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 113-33, January.
- Nicita, Alessandro, 2004. "Who benefited from trade liberalization in Mexico? Measuring the effects on household welfare," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3265, The World Bank.
- Bernard Hoekman & Alan L. Winters, 2005.
"Trade and Employment: Stylized Facts and Research Findings,"
7, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
- Hoekman & Bernard & Winters, L. Alan, 2005. "Trade and employment : stylized facts and research findings," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3676, The World Bank.
- Klytchnikova, Irina & Diop, Ndiame, 2006. "Trade reforms, farm productivity, and poverty in Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3980, The World Bank.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.