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Bush School Professor’s Research Affects Major Policy Change in India

Research co-authored by Dr. Raymond Robertson, professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University, was cited as support for a recently approved measure in India aimed at boosting the apparel industry. In an op-ed piece written by Arvind Subramanian, India’s chief economic advisor, Robertson’s research was offered as evidence that expanding exports within the apparel sector could lead to a significant increase in jobs and a boost to the economy. The new measure, approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is designed to help create ten million jobs over the next three years.

“The apparel industry holds great potential for economic development for several reasons, including an emphasis on employing women,” said Robertson. “The new Indian measures have the potential to improve the lives of millions of women.”

The research cited in the op-ed piece by Subramanian was taken from a recent book co-authored by Robertson,Stitches to Riches, published by the World Bank. In the book, Robertson and his co-authors argue that the apparel sector in South Asia has not reached its full potential due to inefficiencies that affect its competitiveness. The apparel sector already comprises approximately 40 percent of manufacturing employment and, given that much of apparel production continues to be labor intensive, the potential to create more and better jobs is immense.

Robertson is a professor and the holder of the Helen and Roy Ryu Chair in Economics and Government in the Department of International Affairs at the Bush School. Widely published in the field of labor economics and international economics, Robertson currently chairs the US Department of Labor’s National Advisory Committee for Labor Provisions of the US Free Trade Agreements and is a member of the Center for Global Development’s advisory board.  Robertson is also a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany.