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Adjustment and Performance of the Textile and Clothing Industry in the Czech Republic, Poland and Portugal


  • Benacek, Vladimir
  • Caban, Wieslaw
  • Corado, Cristina


We discuss the restructuring of the textile and clothing industry in two East European countries. The paper compares the industry there with that in Portugal. Even though this study is only concerned with one particular industry, it reveals how wide and intensive the problems of transition are. The case studies discussed illustrate many of these difficulties. Former state-owned enterprises are reorienting sales to Western markets under the pressure of competition from a new and expanding private sector that sells imported products. Trade among former Comecon countries remains difficult in spite of the recent free trade agreement between Visegrád countries. The Czech Republic and Poland currently have a more dualistic market structure than Portugal: very large firms alongside a very fragmented private sector. We assess the contribution of the new, private firms in the Czech Republic to find that production and employment in the clothing industry performed quite well, in contrast with the former state-owned sector. The performance of and outlook for former state-owned enterprises are dismal, especially in textiles. In clothing, inward-processing trade has helped large firms. Using a simple analytical framework we show that the former Comecon countries were never as good at buying as the West is now. The changes in domestic demand appear to be the main explanation for the fall in output in the earlier years of economic transformation. In clothing, however, inward-processing operations are dampening the problems of transition.

Suggested Citation

  • Benacek, Vladimir & Caban, Wieslaw & Corado, Cristina, 1995. "Adjustment and Performance of the Textile and Clothing Industry in the Czech Republic, Poland and Portugal," CEPR Discussion Papers 1260, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1260

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Agell, J. & Berg, L. & Edin, P.A., 1995. "Tax Reform, Consumption and Asset Structure," Papers 16, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    2. Bertola, Giuseppe & Drazen, Allan, 1993. "Trigger Points and Budget Cuts: Explaining the Effects of Fiscal Austerity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 11-26, March.
    3. Berg, Lennart & Bergstrom, Reinhold, 1995. " Housing and Financial Wealth, Financial Deregulation and Consumption--The Swedish Case," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(3), pages 421-439, September.
    4. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "Fiscal Expansions and Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries," NBER Working Papers 5214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Sutherland, Alan, 1997. "Fiscal crises and aggregate demand: can high public debt reverse the effects of fiscal policy?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 147-162, August.
    6. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1989. "Consumption and Capital Market Imperfections: An International Comparison," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1088-1105, December.
    7. Berg, Lennart, 1994. "Household Savings and Debts: The Experience of the Nordic Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 42-53, Summer.
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    More about this item


    Industry Studies of Trade; Market Structure; Production; Textiles and Clothing;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade


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