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Revisiting labour and gender issues in Export Processing Zones : the cases of South Korea, Bangladesh and India


  • Murayama, Mayumi
  • Nobuko, Yokota


The establishment of Export Processing Zones (EPZs) is a strategy for economic development that was introduced almost fifty years ago and is nowadays employed in a large number of countries. While the number of EPZs including several variants such as Special Economic Zone (SEZs) has increased continuously, general interest in EPZs has declined over the years in contrast to earlier heated debates regarding the efficacy of the strategy and its welfare effects especially on women workers. This article re-evaluates the historical trajectories and outstanding labour and gender issues of EPZs on the basis of the experiences of South Korea, Bangladesh and India. The findings suggest the necessity of enlarging our analytical scope with regard to EPZs, which are inextricably connected with external employment structures, whether outside the EPZ but within the same country, or outside the EPZ and its host country altogether.

Suggested Citation

  • Murayama, Mayumi & Nobuko, Yokota, 2008. "Revisiting labour and gender issues in Export Processing Zones : the cases of South Korea, Bangladesh and India," IDE Discussion Papers 174, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  • Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper174

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. B. Bhaskara Rao & Rup Singh, 2006. "Demand for money in India: 1953-2003," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(11), pages 1319-1326.
    2. Kimbrough, Kent P., 1986. "The optimum quantity of money rule in the theory of public finance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 277-284, November.
    3. Faig, Miquel, 1988. "Characterization of the optimal tax on money when it functions as a medium of exchange," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 137-148, July.
    4. Mohsen Bahmani-Oskooee & Hafez Rehman, 2005. "Stability of the money demand function in Asian developing countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(7), pages 773-792.
    5. Ramachandran, M., 2004. "Do broad money, output, and prices stand for a stable relationship in India?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 26(8-9), pages 983-1001, December.
    6. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
    7. Johansen, Soren, 1991. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing of Cointegration Vectors in Gaussian Vector Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1551-1580, November.
    8. B. Bhaskara Rao, 1995. "Unit roots cointegration and the demand for money in India," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(10), pages 397-399.
    9. Kimbrough, Kent P, 1986. "Inflation, Employment, and Welfare in the Presence of Transactions Costs," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 18(2), pages 127-140, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kucera, David & Tejani, Sheba, 2014. "Feminization, Defeminization, and Structural Change in Manufacturing," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 569-582.
    2. Preet Rustagi & Dev Nathan & Amrita Datta, 2015. "Women and Work in South Asia: Changes and Challenges," Working Papers id:6908, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item


    South Korea; Bangladesh; India; Female labor; Labor problems; Export Processing Zone (EPZ); Special Economic Zone (SEZ); Gender; 韓国; バングラデシュ; インド; 女性労働; 労働問題; 輸出加工区; 特別経済区; ジェンダー;

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence

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