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Gender Wage Gaps across Skills and Trade Openness

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  • Sarra Ben Yahmed

    ()
    (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS.)

Abstract

Several empirical studies have shown that the effect of openness on the gender wage gap depends on the skill requirement of the workplace. This paper offers a theoretical explanation to understand that finding. We integrate a statistical discrimination framework with the labour assignment approach to give general conditions under which the matching between firms and workers gives rise to a wider gender wage gap at the upper tail of the distribution, in accordance with empirical evidence. We further look at the effect of trade openness on the gender wage gap along the entire distribution. Workers’ characteristics vary in two dimensions, skills and job commitment. The inability to observe individual’s job commitment induces employers to base partly their decision on group average. Following the literature on labour and international trade, we assume that skills act as complements to technological upgrading. Exporting firms are more skill-intensive and pay higher wages; assuming further that worker’s job commitment is a complement to technological upgrading, we find that a reduction in trade costs increases wage inequality within-groups and has non-monotonic effects on between-group inequality. Trade openness reduces the gender wage gap among unskilled workers but increases the gender wage gap among high-skill workers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France in its series AMSE Working Papers with number 1232.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision: Nov 2012
Handle: RePEc:aim:wpaimx:1232

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Web page: http://www.amse-aixmarseille.fr/en
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Related research

Keywords: Gender Wape Gap; Statistical Discrimination; Trade Openess; Technology Upgrading.;

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  1. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford, 1997. "Exporters, skill upgrading, and the wage gap," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 3-31, February.
  2. Nopo, Hugo & Atal, Juan Pablo & Winder, Natalia, 2010. "New Century, Old Disparities: Gender and Ethnic Wage Gaps in Latin America," IZA Discussion Papers 5085, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Menon, Nidhiya & Rodgers, Yana van der Meulen, 2009. "International Trade and the Gender Wage Gap: New Evidence from India's Manufacturing Sector," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 965-981, May.
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  12. Juhn, Chinhui & Ujhelyi, Gergely & Villegas-Sanchez, Carolina, 2014. "Men, women, and machines: How trade impacts gender inequality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 179-193.
  13. Thomas Sampson, 2012. "Selection into Trade and Wage Inequality," CEP Discussion Papers dp1152, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  14. Michael W. Klein & Christoph Moser & Dieter M. Urban, 2010. "The Contribution of Trade to Wage Inequality: The Role of Skill, Gender, and Nationality," NBER Working Papers 15985, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Ozler, Sule, 2000. "Export Orientation and Female Share of Employment: Evidence from Turkey," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1239-1248, July.
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