The sale of Second Hand Clothing (SHC) imports is a thriving business in the Dominican Republic along the Dominican/Haitian border although SHC imports into the Dominican Republic are prohibited by Law 458-73. Haitians, as well as Dominicans, sell imported SHC in the Dominican Republic because Dominican authorities only intermittently enforce Law 458-73, choosing to do so when pressured by domestic textile producers. Fieldwork research involving key actors in the sale and consumption of SHC in the Dajabon province of the Dominican Republic suggests that the absolute prohibition and regulatory enforcement of Dominican Law 458-73 could result in a loss of economic and social welfare for the poorest segments of the Dominican population. Using Winters et al. (2002) framework for the analysis of the effects of trade policy on poverty, I conclude that poor consumers' welfare—on average—could be cut in half if the law that prohibits SHC imports were enforced because of the sharp increase in clothing prices such a prohibition would entail for low-income consumers. In addition, the illegal-but-tolerated flow of SHC in large quantities into the DR has its costs: it breeds corruption and re-enforces informality. In the Dominican Republic, the legalization of the SHC market should enable consumers to obtain clothing at affordable prices while providing the state with some revenue from previously unregulated SHC merchants as well as reducing corruption.
|Advisor:||Huck, James, Jr.|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Caribbean Studies, Economics, Sustainability|
|Keywords:||Dominican Republic, Hispaniola, Second-hand clothing, Sustainable development, Trade liberalization, Welfare impact|
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