Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date


JEL Codes

o, o53

Working Paper Number



In recent years, Bangladesh has experienced economic growth but not economic development. This paper reviews the Janus-faced nature of the country’s leading growth sector – Readymade Garments (RMG). It is an industry that has fueled growth but is not productive enough to substantially raise income levels. The paper argues that the fragmentation of land holding has allowed the supply of labor to RMG to be elastic at low levels of wages. Increasing the level of educational attainment in the countryside will be necessary if Bangladesh is to move upward on the productivity chain beyond textile exports.

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Economics Commons