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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter studies four sectors—apparel, horticulture, mobile phones, and tourism—over the period 1990–2009 in a number of developing countries and examines the extent to which the internationalization of production has improved living standards in those developing countries that attracted significant offshoring activity. Section 2 defines economic and social upgrading and describes the general framework for mapping their relation to each other. Section 3 summarizes the evidence on economic upgrading and downgrading, and section 4 does the same for social upgrading and downgrading. Section 5 presents the evidence on the interrelation between the economic and social realms. Section 6 concludes with a summary of findings and a note of caution about the interpretation of results, given the problems with data on international trade and labor markets at this detailed level of analysis.

Keywords: apparel industry, horticulture industry, mobile phones, tourism, developing countries, internationalization, offshoring, outsourcing, living standards

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