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Global competition, institutional context, and regional production networks: Up- and downgrading experiences in Romania's apparel industry

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  • Plank, Leonhard
  • Staritz, Cornelia

Abstract

Regional suppliers still play an important role in the global apparel industry. By studying the experience of Romania's apparel sector, the paper highlights, first, the importance of multiscalar institutional, macro and policy contexts in analyzing the articulation of and up- and downgrading experiences in global production networks. These include the Multi-Fibre Arrangement, EU trade agreements and accession, the global economic crisis, and the specific institutional and policy context of post-Socialism. Second, the paper stresses the existence of diverse, non-linear and uneven up- and downgrading trajectories and of reactive adaptation rather than pro-active firm strategies. This questions the ideal upgrading account often portrayed in chain and network research.

Suggested Citation

  • Plank, Leonhard & Staritz, Cornelia, 2014. "Global competition, institutional context, and regional production networks: Up- and downgrading experiences in Romania's apparel industry," Working Papers 50, Österreichische Forschungsstiftung für Internationale Entwicklung (ÖFSE) / Austrian Foundation for Development Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:oefsew:50
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Palpacuer, Florence & Gibbon, Peter & Thomsen, Lotte, 2005. "New Challenges for Developing Country Suppliers in Global Clothing Chains: A Comparative European Perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 409-430, March.
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    4. Morris, Mike & Staritz, Cornelia, 2014. "Industrialization Trajectories in Madagascar’s Export Apparel Industry: Ownership, Embeddedness, Markets, and Upgrading," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 243-257.
    5. Marius Bota & Carmen Gut, 2007. "The Employment Situation In Sme In The Romanian Textile And Clothing Industry," JOURNAL STUDIA UNIVERSITATIS BABES-BOLYAI NEGOTIA, Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Business.
    6. John Pickles & Adrian Smith, 2011. "Delocalization and Persistence in the European Clothing Industry: The Reconfiguration of Trade and Production Networks," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(2), pages 167-185.
    7. Bair, Jennifer & Peters, Enrique Dussel, 2006. "Global commodity chains and endogenous growth: Export dynamism and development in Mexico and Honduras," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 203-221, February.
    8. Ponte, Stefano & Ewert, Joachim, 2009. "Which Way is "Up" in Upgrading? Trajectories of Change in the Value Chain for South African Wine," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1637-1650, October.
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    Keywords

    Romania; apparel; global production networks; trade policy; upgrading; downgrading;
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