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An Empirical Study of OEM in Taiwan's Apparel Industry


  • Yi-Ping Lien


This paper has examined the effectiveness of the original equipment manufacturing (OEM) system in Taiwan's apparel industry from the perspective of international competitiveness. For that purpose, this study uses the following three definitions as the dependent variables in the empirical analyzes: namely, the ratio of apparel's export value to real gross domestic product (GDP); apparel's export value per unit of labor cost; and trade specialization index of Taiwan's apparel industry. The indices constructed for statistical analysis in this study illustrate clearly that international competitiveness of Taiwan's apparel industry has deteriorated from 1989 to 2005. In addition, in order to clarify those factors that have influenced the fall of international competitiveness, this study identifies three important factors—namely, wage, labor productivity, and the real effective exchange rate (REER)—and four structural and policy dummies, and then conducted multiple regressions to clarify their statistical relations with each of the dependent variable. The analytical findings show that the Taiwanese apparel industry has lost its attractiveness as an OEM production base because of the rise of wages and the fall of labor productivity. In addition, our findings show that the appreciation of the New Taiwan Dollar (NTD) in terms of REER does not influence the movement of international competitiveness in Taiwan's apparel industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Yi-Ping Lien, 2009. "An Empirical Study of OEM in Taiwan's Apparel Industry," Global Economic Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(3), pages 297-319.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:glecrv:v:38:y:2009:i:3:p:297-319 DOI: 10.1080/12265080903157359

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    References listed on IDEAS

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