Who are we?

The Ready Made Garment Productivity Project (RMGPP) is a series of research projects on productivity and worker well-being in the garment industry started by Professor Christopher Woodruff of Oxford University.

Prof. Woodruff’s research focuses on enterprises in low-income countries, with noted work on returns to capital investments in microenterprises and the effect of formal registration on enterprise performance. He is a pioneer in the use of field experiments in firms. His most recent work focuses on productivity, worker welfare, gender differences in promotion, and decision-making within the garment industry. The thirteen garment industry projects started so far began in 2011. The majority of projects have been conducted through Innovations for Poverty Action in Bangladesh, but some have taken place in Myanmar and Pakistan. These fourteen projects are under the umbrella of the Ready Made Garment Productivity Project.

The garment industry is often the first rung of the ladder within manufacturing for developing countries, and serves as a large source of employment for low-income workers; especially women. The garment industry in Bangladesh contributes one-eighth of the country’s economic output and accounts for 82% of export earnings. Answering questions on how to improve efficiency and practices in the garment sector has the potential to affect millions of workers.

Snapshot: Supervisor education level not improving in Bangladesh

The green line in the graph below shows the education level of male sewing line supervisors in the Bangladesh's garment factories separated by their age. Supervisors aged 24 - 38 all have around 10 years of education. In comparison, the average education level of the male population in Bangladesh increases as the age decreases (orange line). Despite education levels increasing in the general population, garment factories appear to be struggling to attract more educated supervisors. This is an additional reason for factories to start looking for supervisory talent elsewhere; specifically, among the many women in their factory who were seldom considered for supervisory positions until now.

Source: RMGPP surveys of 559 supervisors. 2015 Bangladesh census - 22.7 million males.

Contact us

info (at) rmgpp.org

Photo credit: CC BY-NC 2.0, Dhammika Heenpella, Spool of Yarn