This paper contributes to the global production networks (GPNs) literature by analyzing the relationship between economic upgrading (increase in the value added of production) and social upgrading (improvements for workers in GPNs). It does so by drawing on primary data from Moroccan garment supplier firms, showing that economic upgrading can lead to social upgrading with mixed outcomes. Especially in a fast fashion model, the most advanced form of economic upgrading, functional upgrading, often translates into social upgrading and downgrading simultaneously for different workers. This is due to contradictory commercial requirements imposed by global buyers in GPNs.
Rossi, A. Does Economic Upgrading Lead to Social Upgrading in Global Production Networks? Evidence from Morocco. World Development (2013) 46: 223-233. [DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.02.002]