149 research outputs found

    COVID‐19’s impacts on global value chains, as seen in the apparel industry

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    Abstract: Motivation: The COVID‐19 pandemic has massively disrupted international trade and global value chains. Impacts, however, differ across regions and industries. This article contributes to a better understanding of the scale of disruptions to industries and value chains integral to the economies of and livelihoods in developing countries, and what role policy can play to mitigate harm. Purpose: This article aims to: (1) analyse and characterize disruptions to the global apparel value chain caused by the COVID‐19 pandemic, focusing on how developing countries have been impacted, and; (2) identify key policies to support a resilient, inclusive and sustainable recovery. Approach and methods: We review COVID‐19 related reports published by international and non‐governmental organizations, international trade and production statistics, industry surveys and media reports. We frame our analysis predominantly within the Global Value Chains literature. Findings: The global apparel value chain has been severely disrupted by the pandemic, owing to direct effects of sickness on workers in factories, reduced output of materials—cloth, thread, etc.—used to fabricate clothing, and to reduced demand for apparel in high‐income countries. Developing countries are suffering disproportionately in terms of profits, wages, job security and job safety. Women workers in the apparel chain have been hit especially hard, not only because most workers in the chain are women, but also because they have experienced increasing unpaid care work and higher risk of gender‐based violence. Policy implications: Five key areas of policy to support a resilient, inclusive and sustainable recovery stand out: (1) delivering emergency responses to ensure firm survival and the protection of workers’ livelihoods; (2) reformulating FDI attraction strategies and promoting market diversification; (3) supporting technology adoption and skills development; (4) deploying labour standards to improve workers’ conditions and strengthening social protection systems; and (5) adopting gender‐sensitive responses

    Continued obstacles to wood‐based biomass production in the southeastern United States

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    International demand for wood-based biomass for bioenergy production is growing, and private forestlands in the southeastern United States have the potential to supply that demand. The southeastern United States (Southeast) is the world's largest exporter of wood pellets for bioenergy, primarily to the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU). However, wood-based biomass production accounts for only a small share of total wood removals from private forestlands in the Southeast. There is sufficient wood-based biomass in the Southeast to support greater production of wood pellets for domestic and international markets without redirecting timber from sawtimber and pulpwood production. In 2018–19, we conducted 39 semi-structured interviews with private forest landowners, foresters, loggers, and biomass production facility managers in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia to obtain their views on wood-based biomass production in the Southeast. Although landowners were interested in supplying wood for biomass as a byproduct of timber harvesting, they seldom participated in wood-based biomass production because of limited and unreliable access to biomass markets. Loggers and production facility managers had not invested in biomass production because they remain skeptical about the financial viability of wood-based biomass. Continued obstacles to biomass production include: price competition with fossil fuels and conventional wood products; inconsistent domestic government support for biomass production; concerns about meeting the sustainability requirements to export wood-based biomass to the UK and EU; and the high costs associated with harvesting low-grade wood for biomass. The barriers to biomass expansion in the southeastern United States remain primarily economic and political rather than biophysical.National Institute of Food and Agriculture,http://www.wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/gcbbam2022Mammal Research Institut

    The boomerang returns? Accounting for the impact of uncertainties on the dynamics of remanufacturing systems

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    Recent years have witnessed companies abandon traditional open-loop supply chain structures in favour of closed-loop variants, in a bid to mitigate environmental impacts and exploit economic opportunities. Central to the closed-loop paradigm is remanufacturing: the restoration of used products to useful life. While this operational model has huge potential to extend product life-cycles, the collection and recovery processes diminish the effectiveness of existing control mechanisms for open-loop systems. We systematically review the literature in the field of closed-loop supply chain dynamics, which explores the time-varying interactions of material and information flows in the different elements of remanufacturing supply chains. We supplement this with further reviews of what we call the three ‘pillars’ of such systems, i.e. forecasting, collection, and inventory and production control. This provides us with an interdisciplinary lens to investigate how a ‘boomerang’ effect (i.e. sale, consumption, and return processes) impacts on the behaviour of the closed-loop system and to understand how it can be controlled. To facilitate this, we contrast closed-loop supply chain dynamics research to the well-developed research in each pillar; explore how different disciplines have accommodated the supply, process, demand, and control uncertainties; and provide insights for future research on the dynamics of remanufacturing systems

    Japan in the International Food Regimes: Understanding Japanese Food Self-sufficiency Decline

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    Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate was 79% in 1960, but it fell down rapidly and reached 39% in 2011, the lowest among major industrialized countries. The mechanisms of this decline have been mostly explained as the result of the drastic change of dietary habits under a rapid economic growth, since the 1960s: as the economy grew steadily, the consumption of domestically produced food (e.g. rice) has decreased, while the consumption of imported food (e.g. meat, dairy products, oils) has grown constantly (i.e. ‘Bennet’s law’). Yet, evidences suggest that Japan’s foreign policy choices and international environment considerably influenced Japan’s low food self-sufficiency rate. Relying on ‘international food regime theory’, this analysis aims to shed some light on the international political factors that affected Japan’s dependence. This chapter will show how national security interests and international norms and rules that underpin the food regime have played an important in determining Japan’s low self-sufficiency rate

    Climate Policy and Border Measures: The Case of the US Aluminum Industry

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    In this paper, analysis is presented relating to the impact of border measures for climate policy on the problem of carbon leakage, and the related issue of competitiveness in the US aluminum industry, which can be characterized as oligopolistic. Specifically, it is shown that an appropriate border measure depends on the nature of competition in aluminum production, as well as the basis for assessing the trade neutrality of any border measure. If trade neutrality is defined in terms of market volume, even though carbon leakage is reduced, US aluminum producer competitiveness cannot be maintained. This compares to defining trade neutrality in terms of market share, which results in US aluminum producer competitiveness being maintained and global carbon emissions being reduced. In either case, US users of aluminum incur deadweight losses

    What Is the Value of Extrinsic Olive Oil Cues in Emerging Markets? Empirical Evidence from the U.S. E-Commerce Retail Market

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    Olive oil consumption in the United States has more than tripled over the past two decades and imports have grown considerably, in particular from Mediterranean countries. This is due to the spread of the Mediterranean diet and increasing consumer awareness about the health benefits of olive oil. We investigated the role of the main extrinsic quality cues (size of container, product category, organic certification, geographical indications, country of origin, and brand) in affecting the price of olive oil sold in the U.S. e-commerce retail market. Using data from amazon.com, the leading e-retailer in the United States, a hedonic price model was estimated. Results show that all the considered extrinsic quality cues have a significant impact on the price of olive oil, with interesting implications for both practitioners and policy makers. [EconLit citations: Q110; Q130; Q170]

    The supply-side of corruption and limits to preventing corruption within government procurement and constructing ethical subjects

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    Corruption in government procurement programs is a perennial problem. The paper by Dean Neu, Jeff Everett and Abu Shiraz Rahaman emphasises the value of internal controls in government departments in constraining individuals and promoting ethical conduct. In response, this paper argues that good internal controls in government departments, though highly desirable, are unlikely to make a significant dent in corrupt practices to secure government contracts. A major reason for this is the supply of corruption by corporations keen to secure lucrative contracts. Within the spirit of contemporary capitalism, they have an insatiable appetite for profits and have shown willingness to engage in corrupt practices to secure government departments. The issues are illustrated with the aid of two case studies. It is argued that the supply-side of corruption severely limits the possibilities of preventing corruption in government procurement

    Antidumping, intra-industry trade, and quality reversals

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    We examine an export game where two (home and foreign) firms produce vertically differentiated products. The foreign firm is more R&D efficient and is based in a larger and richer market. The unique (risk-dominant) Nash equilibrium exhibits intra-industry trade, and the foreign producer manufactures a higher-quality product. When transport costs are low, unilateral dumping by the foreign firm arises; otherwise, reciprocal dumping occurs. For some parameters, a domestic antidumping policy leads to a quality reversal in the international market whereby the home firm becomes the quality leader. This policy is desirable for the implementing country, though world welfare decreases