Transforming livelihoods: work, migration and poverty in the Tiruppur garment cluster, India

Research Partners:

University of Sussex
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The international market in clothes has undergone radical transformations with the removal of trade barriers, a process that has had highly varied and unexpected consequences for workers' livelihoods. Poorer countries, such as India and China, are often seen to be benefiting from these labour-intensive export industries, but little is known about the changing livelihoods of those employed in booming export industries or about impacts on the surrounding rural populations.

The research uses an interdisciplinary approach to critically examine changing livelihood strategies of both rural and urban populations affected by export industries. Field research by an anthropologist, geographer and two economists will be undertaken in and around Tirupur, a major garment manufacturing and export town in South India. The project will study linkages between urban industrial development and changing rural hinterlands, with specific reference to poverty and livelihoods, socio-economic mobility, and patterns of inequality.  The research aims to: 

  1. Enhance our understanding of impacts of industrial expansion on urban and rural households in developing countries;
  2. Improve our understanding of persistent poverty and 'poverty traps' in areas of rapid economic growth;
  3. Inform policy interventions by the state, multinational corporations and international NGOs that aim to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods.
University of Sussex
Geert Raymond De Neve
Grace Margaret Carswell
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Grant Reference: 
RES-167-25-0296
ES/F026633/1
Project Status: 
Closed
Grant Category: 
Research Grant
Lead Organisation Department: 
Sch of Global Studies
Fund Start Date: 
July 1st, 2008
Fund End Date: 
December 31st, 2010
Fund Currency Code: 
GBP
Fund Value: 
200590
bonded-labour
CSR
Dalit
employment
export-economies
garments
global-production
global-value-chain-approach
industrial-expansion
livelihoods
manufacturing
migration
poverty
rural-hinterland
rural-urban-connectivity
Work
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