IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/jet/dpaper/dpaper412.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Slow and steady wins the race : how the garment industry leads industrialization in low-income countries

Author

Listed:
  • Fukunishi, Takahiro
  • Yamagata, Tatsufumi

Abstract

This paper investigates how the garment industry escapes this vicious cycle and argues for the validity of labor-intensive industry as a starting point for full-fledged industrialization, even though it might at first seem to be a digression from the path to an innovation-led economy. By examining original firm-level data on garment-producing firms collected in 2002 and 2008 in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Kenya and Madagascar, the following conclusions are drawn: (1) low wages, though still sufficient for poverty reduction, are the main source of competitiveness in low-income countries; (2) after the successful initiation of industrialization causes wages to begin to rise, there is still a possibility for productivity enhancement; and (3) skill bias in technological progress is not yet a major factor, implying that the garment industry is still a labor-intensive industry. In sum, labor-intensive industry should not be discounted as a part of the development strategy of low-income countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Fukunishi, Takahiro & Yamagata, Tatsufumi, 2013. "Slow and steady wins the race : how the garment industry leads industrialization in low-income countries," IDE Discussion Papers 412, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  • Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper412
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://ir.ide.go.jp/?action=repository_action_common_download&item_id=37764&item_no=1&attribute_id=22&file_no=1
    File Function: First version, 2013
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78.
    2. Hornstein, Andreas & Krusell, Per & Violante, Giovanni L., 2005. "The Effects of Technical Change on Labor Market Inequalities," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 20, pages 1275-1370 Elsevier.
    3. Deardorff, Alan V., 2001. "Fragmentation in simple trade models," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 121-137, July.
    4. Asuyama, Yoko & Chhun, Dalin & Fukunishi, Takahiro & Neou, Seiha & Yamagata, Tatsufumi, 2010. "Firm dynamics in the Cambodian garment industry: firm turnover, productivity growth, and wage profile under trade liberalization," IDE Discussion Papers 268, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    5. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2008. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 394-425, March.
    6. Takahiro FUKUNISHI, 2009. "Has Low Productivity Constrained The Competitiveness Of African Firms? A Comparison Of Kenyan And Bangladeshi Garment Firms," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 47(3), pages 307-339.
    7. James Harrigan & Geoffrey Barrows, 2009. "Testing the Theory of Trade Policy: Evidence from the Abrupt End of the Multifiber Arrangement," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 282-294, May.
    8. Yamagata, Tatsufumi, 2006. "The Garment Industry in Cambodia: Its Role in Poverty Reduction through Export-Oriented Development," IDE Discussion Papers 62, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    9. Amjad (edited), Rashid, 1981. "The development labour intensive industry in ASEAN countries: an overview," MPRA Paper 38967, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. repec:pri:cepsud:113krusell is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Ronald W. Jones, 1965. "The Structure of Simple General Equilibrium Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 557-557.
    12. Margit Molnar & Przemyslaw Kowalski, 2008. "Economic impacts of the phase-out in 2005 of quantitative restrictions under the Agreement on textiles and Clothing," STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT,in: Unveiling Protectionism: Regional Responses to Remaining Barriers in the Textiles and Clothing Trade, pages 49-83 pag United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
    13. Gladys Lopez-Acevedo & Raymond Robertson, 2012. "Sewing Success? Employment, Wages, and Poverty following the End of the Multi-Fibre Arrangement," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13137.
    14. Gregory Clark, 2007. "Introduction to A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World," Introductory Chapters,in: A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World Princeton University Press.
    15. Hayami, Yujiro & Ruttan, V W, 1970. "Factor Prices and Technical Change in Agricultural Development: The United States and Japan, 1880-1960," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(5), pages 1115-1141, Sept.-Oct.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Kudo, Toshihiro, 2013. "Myanmar's apparel industry in the new international environment : prospects and challenges," IDE Discussion Papers 430, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Developing countries; Bangladesh; Cambodia; Kenya; Madagascar; Apparel industry; Textile industry; Industrialization; International competition; Competitiveness; Garment; Race to the bottom;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • L67 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Other Consumer Nondurables: Clothing, Textiles, Shoes, and Leather Goods; Household Goods; Sports Equipment
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • F63 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Economic Development

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper412. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Minami Tosa). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/idegvjp.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.