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My work in this area examines the role of international trade in the decline of the US textiles industry, with special attention to North Carolina.  I’ve also collaborated with co-authors at the World Bank to examine the effects of international trade in textiles and apparel for African economies.

Turkish Enterprise-Level Response to Foreign Trade Liberalization:  The Removal of Quotas under the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (with Marco Fugazza and M. Kerem Yuksel), UNCTAD Policy Issues in International Trade and Commodities Study Series 59, 2013.
Removal of the final quotas from The Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) in 2005 brought about a division of textile- and apparel-exporting countries into groups of winners and losers. Turkey appeared as a successful country from the former category. Based on firm-level data from Turkey our empirical results suggest that while Turkish enterprises were more successful than most in other countries in adapting to the post-quota market in textiles and apparel, their performance paled relative to the performance of Turkish enterprises selling these goods in their home market.   When we consider enterprise exit during this period, we find that textiles and apparel producers were significantly more likely to close during this period when compared to producers of products other than textiles and apparel.

Incentives, Exports and International Competitiveness in Sub-Saharan Africa:  Lessons from the Apparel Industry (with Manju Shah), 2010.
The elimination of quotas on apparel imports into the major importing countries of the US and European Union coincided with a rapid aggregate decline in apparel exports from Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries.  This raises a critical question for policy-makers in these countries:  Can SSA exporters compete in a liberalized international apparel market?  Through empirical investigation of trade flows and firm-level data, we uncover a pattern of export-readiness and export-competitiveness that varies systematically across Sub-Saharan African countries.

The Impact of Removal of ATC Quotas on International Trade in Textiles and Apparel (with Marco Fugazza), UNCTAD Policy Issues in International Trade and Commodities Study Series 45, 2010.
Bilateral trade data are used for the period 1997-2005 to estimate a model of production and consumption of textiles and apparel based on choice-theoretic foundations. The impact of the removal of the ATC quota system is examined in this context, and the effects are shown to vary by underlying comparative advantage of the producing country.

Global Implications of Unravelling US Textiles Quotas, 2006
A simple decomposition framework is combined with detailed import data for the US and EU to examine the country-level impact of quota removal on countries accustomed to exporting to the US and/or EU during the quota period. Risk factors are identified on a country level, and “winners” and “losers” are identified from the trade liberalization.

Trade Liberalization in Textiles: Dynamic Policy Effects in an Import-Competing Economy, 2009
This paper reports the results of dynamic simulations of a model of domestic production of textiles estimated using Bureau of the Census data for 1982-1999. The domestic price and the number of firms are calculated endogenously. Through use of this structural model, the effects of trade liberalization are separated from those of real wage increases and technological progress.

When do Firms Downsize?, 2004
This paper examines data on employment loss and plant closure from 100 counties in North Carolina over the period 1980 through 2000. The propensity for downsizing or closure is explained in terms of country-wide characteristics: the skill level of workers, the availability of infrastructure, the degree of urbanization, and others.

The Impact of Negotiated Restraints on US Trade in Textiles, 2004
Through a combination of US Customs data on negotiated restraints by trading partner and international trade data on volume and value of trade in textiles by trading-partner country, this paper explores the effectiveness of the US quota system in restraining imports in two categories of textiles imports. One contribution is the work with data disaggregated to the level of individual quota category. A second is the simultaneous consideration of US exports of these same products.

Performance and Perception: Results from a Survey of US Textiles Manufacturers, 2004
This paper reports the results of a survey administered to a sample of textiles manufacturers in the US in 2004. The focus of the survey is the attitudes of firm managers with respect to the expiration of quotas under the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) at the end of 2004. These attitudes are correlated with characteristics of the firms and with their performance over the preceding seven years. Also reported: the firm managers’ suggestions for commercial-policy innovations once the ATC expires. (With Robert Connolly)

The North Carolina Textiles Project: An Initial Report, 2003
This paper reports the conclusions we drew on the evolution and future of the textiles industry in the US from a round of interviews with textile firm owners in the summer of 2003. (with Robert Connolly, Alfred Field and Douglas Longman)

Import Price Pressure on Firm Productivity and Employment: The Case of US Textiles, 2006
This paper is the report of research using the Longitudinal Research Database of the US Bureau of the Census to determine the effect of import competition on textile plant performance. It uses a novel decomposition of the data to distinguish import-competition effects from technological changes and evolution of industrial organization.

Downsizing, Layoffs and Plant Closure: The Impacts of Import Price Pressure and Technological Progress on US Textiles Producers, 2006
This paper also uses the Longitudinal Research Database, but incorporates both static and dynamic equilibrium analysis to identify the relative contributions of technological progress and removal of import quotas in the movement of domestic prices of textiles, entry and exit of plants and the plant’s investment decision.

Charting Employment Loss in North Carolina Textiles, 2004
Using monthly data from the North Carolina Employment Security Commission, I use event-study techniques to search for the impact of increased import competition on job loss in textiles.

Job Dislocation due to Import Competition: How Often Does Trade Adjustment Assistance Facilitate Relocation?, 2009
Investigating the frequency that plant closure and downsizing is associated with worker benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN). The bottom line? Not so often. Simulation of the market for textiles production provides explanations for why this is so.

I also collaborated with the Center for the Study of the American South at UNC to convene a conference on 8-9 April 2004 entitled Community Adjustment to Textile Plant Closure and Downsizing.