Cover Image
close this bookUsed Clothes as Development Aid: The Political Economy of Rags (SIDA)
View the document(introduction...)
close this folderIntroduction
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentFour possible positions
View the documentOur plan of analysis
View the documentPossible empirical questions
View the documentTheoretical questions
View the documentThe organization of the report
View the documentOur conclusions
View the documentAcknowledgments
close this folderPart I: The used-clothes trade
close this folderChapter 1: Used-clothes exports
View the documentWorldwide textile and clothing trade, including Third World exports
View the documentWorldwide gross and net used-clothes exports, 1984-'93
View the documentTwenty-four net used-clothes exporting countries, 1984-'93
View the documentGross exports of 127 countries or trading territories in 1990
View the documentCommercial used-clothes exporters: the ''rag merchants''
View the documentCharitable used-clothes (and other) exports
View the documentSweden's used-clothes collections, exports, and imports
View the documentSummary and conclusions
close this folderChapter 2: Used-Clothes Imports
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentNinety net used-clothes importing countries, 1984-'93
View the documentGross imports of 181 countries or trading territories in 1990
View the documentDistribution of used clothes in Rwanda
View the documentDistribution of used clothes in Zambia
View the documentSummary and conclusions
close this folderChapter 3: The general context of the used-clothes trade
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPopular images: producer organizations, labor unions, and the mass media
View the documentA possibly more balanced, African media view
View the documentNational government used-clothes trade policies and practices
View the documentSummary and conclusions
close this folderChapter 4: NGO attitudes and involvement in the used-clothes trade
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe naked truth (1988): PS and UFF used-clothes exports to Mozambique
View the documentAnother slightly out-of-date example: the Swedish Red Cross (1992)
View the documentCombining commercial used-clothes sales with development projects (UFF)
View the documentNon-Swedish and international NGO attitudes towards used-clothes exports
View the documentCommercial ''for-profit'' involvement in used-clothes collection and distribution
View the documentSummary and conclusions
close this folderPart II-A: Analysis of the effects of the used-clothes trade in general
close this folderChapter 5: Theoretical welfare effects of unsubsidized imports
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentInitial assumptions: Perfect markets (full employment of resources), free trade
View the documentWhy are used-clothes imports welfare-maximizing? (Real goods are real income)
View the documentOur analytic strategy
View the documentGovernment support via production subsidy to capture positive externality
View the documentOther arguments for protection of infant industries
View the documentProduction subsidy effects on exporting, and benefits
View the documentLess than fully functioning markets: Unemployment
View the documentGovernment support via import tariffs
View the documentThe negative side-effect of tariffs
View the documentLess than fully functioning markets: Unemployment again
View the documentConclusions
close this folderChapter 6: Empirical welfare effects of unsubsidized imports
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentHaggblade's analysis of the economic effects of used-clothes imports in Rwanda
View the documentGlobal extensions of Haggblade's analysis, including a multi-market model
View the documentConclusion
close this folderChapter 7: A brief history and sociology of the used-clothes trade
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentLDCs: Hansen's study of used clothes in modern Zambia
View the documentThe re-use of second-hand goods in modern industrial countries
View the documentLemire's study of the used-clothes trade in eighteenth century Britain
View the documentUsed clothes for disaster relief
View the documentConclusions
close this folderPart II-B: Analysis of the effects of subsidizing used-clothes imports
close this folderChapter 8: Theoretical welfare effects of subsidized imports
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction of a freight subsidy
View the documentThe positive externality (infant industry) argument again
View the documentLess than fully functioning markets: Unemployment yet again
View the documentDistributional effects: Benefiting the poor
View the documentImport subsidy effects on exporting, and benefits
View the documentIf there is no domestic clothes production
View the documentDumping, and other cautions regarding who gets the subsidy, and how
View the documentConclusions
close this folderChapter 9: Alternative costs and best use of cash and clothes
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe cost of the freight subsidy
View the documentThe alternative cost of the freight subsidy: Cash
View the documentBest use of the cash
View the documentBest use of the clothes
View the documentSituations where freight subsidies would be warranted: Catastrophes, no supply
View the documentConclusions
close this folderPart III: Summary and policy recommendations
View the documentSummary
View the documentPolicy recommendations
close this folderAppendices
View the documentAppendix 1: Terms of reference for the study
View the documentAppendix 2: Statistical tables
View the documentAppendix 3: Notes on statistical problems and their implications
View the documentAppendix 4: Some philosophical notes
View the documentAppendix 5: Some labor and mass media views
View the documentAppendix 6: National trade policies
View the documentAppendix 7: Swedish NGOs
View the documentAppendix 8: Food aid as an example of commodity aid
View the documentAppendix 9: The used-clothes trade in eighteenth century britain
View the documentReferences

Policy recommendations

Thus we recommend the following policies regarding Sida subsidies for NGO export of used clothes:

1. In general, no subsidies should be given for export of used clothes, particularly if the clothes are to be sold on the market. If the organizations or projects which would have benefited financially are judged worthy of support, such support should be given directly.

2. In the case of targeting particular population groups - "the poorest of the poor" - more effective, better-targeted projects should be encouraged.

a. NGOs should be encouraged to sell their surplus used-clothes stocks into the commercial "rag merchant" network - as is widely done in most other industrial countries.

b. The proceeds, plus whatever subsidies Sida might have given for used-clothes exports, should be devoted to projects.

3. In catastrophe situations, freight subsidies for used-clothes exports should be given only as a last resort - if no better and more immediate source of supply is available. NGOs should be encouraged to find supplies as close to the scene as possible; the use of cheap new clothes should be explored for this purpose.

4. In any cases in which subsidies for used-clothes exports are given, plans should be scrutinized, and results monitored, with the following questions in mind:

a. In catastrophe situations, how has it been ascertained that local production and other closer sources are insufficient to meet the need?

b. Have other alternatives been explored - such as importing from neighboring countries, commercial imports of used clothes, etc.?

c. If used-clothes are to be used for project aid with "the poorest of the poor", how are the target groups to be selected? How will distribution be monitored to be sure that they are in fact the recipients?

d. How has it been determined that they in fact have no presence in the market?

e. How were their needs ascertained? Is their highest priority used clothes? Or, for example, would they rather have the cash? If so, is there any other project possible - perhaps an income-generating project - which could more effectively use the financial resources and volunteer effort available?

f. How will the clothes be sorted to make sure that they match local needs?

g. Will the recipients be monitored to discover if there is any resale activity?

5. Any changes from current policy should be made in a carefully planned manner, so as not to lose the benefits which undoubtedly do accrue from subsidized charitable exports of used clothes, and which might be lost without compensating gains if policy changes are made precipitously.