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TextileLab SIGNED

Race to the bottom? Family labour, household livelihood and consumption in the relocation of global cotton manufacturing, ca. 1750-1990

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 TextileLab project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the TextileLab project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "TextileLab" about.

roots    relocated    race    reducing    empirical    patterns    workers    shifts    qualitative    allocation    perspective    explanations    context    historical    divisions    topical    lends    cotton    export    deep    explores    250    skill    local    decisions    consumption    influenced    textile    shift    notably    deepen    economic    regions    choices    jobs    poorly    manufacturing    contribution    space    comparatively    continuation    relocation    strategies    quantitative    analytical    income    academic    systematic    trade    interactions    livelihood    proposes    political    location    total    question    industries    everywhere    globalization    mechanisms    markets    households    wage    centres    time    multiple    almost    industrial    disappearance    overlooked    macro    resilient    household    nominal    wages    gender    asia    back    central    micro    innovation    causal    labour    existed    countries    global    agency    methodological    argued    division    periods   

Project "TextileLab" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 3584 CS

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 1˙999˙250 €
 EC max contribution 1˙999˙250 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2017-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-10-01   to  2023-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT NL (UTRECHT) coordinator 1˙999˙250.00


 Project objective

Globalization and the shift of industries and jobs to low-wage countries are topical political issues, but have deep historical roots. For long, cotton manufacturing has been central in global trade and industrial relocation. Textile production has existed almost everywhere, but its major export centres have relocated in the past 250 years, notably from Asia to Europe/the US, then back to Asia. When and why these shifts occur is however still poorly understood. Reducing labour costs has been argued to be central in this ‘race to the bottom’, but this does not explain why textile production was resilient in some regions and periods, and not in others. This project explores the macro-economic global relocation of textile production from a micro-level perspective: households’ labour and consumption decisions. It proposes an in-depth comparative study of changes in labour allocation and consumption at the household level, to deepen macro-level studies on global textile production. Its main question is to what extent, and how, gender divisions of work, households’ multiple livelihood strategies, and local consumption patterns have influenced the continuation and disappearance of textile manufacturing over time and space? Its empirical contribution is a systematic long-term global comparison of nominal and real textile wages in the context of total household income. Its methodological innovation is to comparatively study labour costs, skill formation and income over time from the micro- perspective of the household, using quantitative and qualitative approaches from several academic fields. Its analytical value is to study interactions between causal mechanisms on the macro-economic level (markets, institutions) and the location of textile manufacturing, with households’ production and consumption choices. This lends workers and households the agency that most studies have overlooked, thus offering new explanations for the global division of labour.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 Corinne Boter, Pieter Woltjer
The impact of sectoral shifts on Dutch unmarried women’s labor force participation, 1812–1929
published pages: , ISSN: 1361-4916, DOI: 10.1093/ereh/hez020
European Review of Economic History 2020-04-24

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The information about "TEXTILELAB" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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