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Research Activities

Research Projects

FY 2012/2013 Research Topic: C-04
Dynamics of the Garment Industry in Low-income Countries following the MFA Phase-out


The export-oriented garment industry has developed during the early stage of industrialization in many developing countries, and it significantly contributed to economic growth and poverty reduction in particularly low-income countries. However, exports from China have rapidly grown following trade liberalization through termination of the Multi-fibre Arrangement (MFA), and as a consequence, competition has been intensified. Response to those market changes is diverse across countries. Some continue to grow, while others, for example African countries, experienced reduction. Even among those which are growing, source of the sustained competitiveness differs; for example, productivity growth, quality upgrading, or low labor costs. Those differential responses may have led to heterogeneous impacts on labor market.
Given critical importance of the industry in economies, present research project aims to investigate dynamics of garment industry in low-income countries after the trade liberalization. More specifically, we examine how the performance of garment industry and the welfare of its workers have changed, and whether African countries can penetrate the export market through comparative country studies in Asia and Africa, including Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Kenya and Madagascar. Our studies are based on the original information including firm and worker datasets collected by own fieldworks.


April 2011 - February 2013

Members of the Research Project

[ Organizer ] FUKUNISHI Takahiro
[ Co-researchers ] MAKINO Momoe
GOTO Kenta (Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Kansai University)
KUDO Toshihiro
YAMAGATA Tatsufumi