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Fragmentation, income, gender and poverty linkages: the case of the maquila industry in Guatemala


  • Calfat, Germán
  • Rivas, Ana


This article addresses the participation of Guatemala in the world apparel chain of production and its likely impact on income, gender and poverty levels. Making use of household survey data from Guatemala, the study relies on matching techniques for analyzing changes on labour earnings in the assembly industry with special emphasis on female workers. The evidence suggests that maquila-based employees are, on average, better paid than those occupied in the reserve sector, however, the former group seems to be exposed to a less favourable working environment when compared to those employed in other manufacturing industries. Moreover, the study reveals huge income disparities in terms of gender, exacerbated, among others, by the typical patriarchal structure prevailing in the Guatemalan economy. Our results introduce reservations on the role played by the maquila model, calling for a reassessment of its likely poverty reduction effect in Guatemala.

Suggested Citation

  • Calfat, Germán & Rivas, Ana, 2008. "Fragmentation, income, gender and poverty linkages: the case of the maquila industry in Guatemala," IOB Working Papers 2008.02, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy (IOB).
  • Handle: RePEc:iob:wpaper:2008002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hugo Ñopo & Alberto Gonzales, 2008. "Gender and Ethnic Wage Gaps in Guatemala from a Matching Comparisons Perspective," Research Department Publications 4587, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    2. de Hoyos, Rafael E. & Bussolo, Maurizio & Nunez, Oscar, 2008. "Can Maquila Booms Reduce Poverty? Evidence from Honduras," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4789, The World Bank.
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