Artisan Connect

Artisan industries in Asia: Four Case Studies

Date : 2010-12-20 16:03:21

Description(Technical Study 60e) There is a surprising lack of information about Asia's artisan industries, considering their economic contribution in terms of new employment and foreign exchange. In response to this lack and at the request of governments in the region, IDRC funded a seven-country research network on artisan industries in south and Southeast Asia during 1983-86. Research teams, comprising economists, anthropologists, and marketing specialists, worked in conjunction with government trade, industry, and rural development agencies to gather data. Results of this research are presented in two volumes. The first, Artisans in Economic Development: Evidence from Asia, contains survey data from India, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. This volume consists of four case studies on workers' welfare and on the international demand conditions that are affecting artisan industries. An analysis of the data has led to some interesting conclusions. Families involved in craft production are not only above the poverty line, but also have incomes over the national household average. In some countries, household incomes are many times higher. This reflects the strong export demand, but is also the result of multiple sources of family income for rural producers. Despite the higher-than-expected earnings, returns to labour are very low and, partially as a result, an insufficient number of young people are entering the trade. For this sector to survive, especially in the more developed Southeast Asian countries, government policies must emphasize exports. Wages are higher and benefits are more readily available in factories, which cater to exports. Furthermore, policymakers will find that the returns are good. For example, craft exports have increased four times faster than overall trade. However, these gains must be shared more equitably with producers; this sector may then be able to attract new workers. Although many people were responsible for data collection, analysis, and report writing, the main credit goes to three individuals who did most of the work and provided intellectual leadership. Dr Rebecca Joseph undertook this assignment while based at Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, as a University of California- San Diego doctoral student in anthropology. Dr Sanjay Kathuria carried out his work in India and Europe while based at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations in New Delhi. Dr Virginia Miralao is Director of Research at the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation in Manila and had responsibility for supervising a number of research teams throughout the Philippines. This book and its companion volume are the first available in Asia, outside of India, on the economic conditions of this industry. It is our hope that this publication will be useful to government and nongovernment planners, other international agencies, and researchers who may wish to use it as a guide for their own work. /Handicrafts/, /cottage industry/, /employment/, /income/, /Asia/ - /international trade/, /exports/, /trade agreements/, /government policy/, /working conditions/, /wages/, /employment instability/, /women's role/, /women workers/, /case studies/, /India/, /Philippines/, /Indonesia/

Name of InstitutionArtisan industries in Asia: Four Case Studies

Author(s) NameKristen Patin

Added/Updated byKristen Patin

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