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Does the Liberalization of Trade Advance Gender Equality in Schooling and Health?

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  • T. Paul Schultz

    ()
    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

Abstract

This paper assesses the empirical relationship between the liberalization of international trade and the economic status of women. Although historically globalization is not generally linked to the advancement of women, several recent country studies find export led growth in middle and low income countries is associated with improvements in women’s employment opportunities. Does intercountry empirical evidence confirm this association across a wider range of countries, and suggest the mechanisms by which it operates? Measures of wages for men and women are an unreliable basis for study of gender inequality in many low-income countries, and thus schooling and health are analyzed here as indicators of productivity and welfare and gender gaps. For a sample of 70 countries observed at five year intervals from 1965 to 1980, tariff, quota, and foreign exchange restrictions are found to be inversely associated with trade, and with the levels of education and health, especially for women. Natural resource exports, although providing foreign exchange for imports, appear to reduce investments in schooling and health, and delay the equalization of these human capital investments between men and women. Liberalization of trade policy is consequently linked in the cross section to increased trade, to greater accumulation of human capital, and to increased gender equality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 935.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:935

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Keywords: Trade Liberalization; Schooling; Health; Gender Equality;

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  1. Schultz, T. Paul, 1988. "Education investments and returns," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 543-630 Elsevier.
  2. Schultz, T.P., 1998. "Inequality in the Distribution of Personal Income in the World: How It Is Changing and Why," Papers 784, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  3. Black, Sandra & Brainerd, Elizabeth, 2002. "Importing Equality? The Impact of Globalization on Gender Discrimination," CEPR Discussion Papers 3532, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Andrew Berg & Anne O. Krueger, 2003. "Trade, Growth, and Poverty," IMF Working Papers 03/30, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Schultz, T. Paul (ed.), 1995. "Investment in Women's Human Capital," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226740874.
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  7. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  8. Schultz, T-P, 1996. "Wage and Labor Supply effects of Illness in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana : Instrumental Variable Estimates for Days Disabled," Papers 757, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  9. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 791-836, August.
  10. Standing, Guy, 1989. "Global feminization through flexible labor," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(7), pages 1077-1095, July.
  11. Paul Schultz, T., 2001. "Women's roles in the agricultural household: Bargaining and human capital investments," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 383-456 Elsevier.
  12. Levinsohn, James, 1999. "Employment responses to international liberalization in Chile," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 321-344, April.
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  23. Krueger, Anne O, 1974. "The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 291-303, June.
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  25. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
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  28. Schultz, T. Paul, 1993. "Demand for children in low income countries," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 349-430 Elsevier.
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Cited by:
  1. Enriqueta Camps, 2009. "Globalization and culture shaping the gender gap: A comparative analysis of urban Latin America and East Asia (1970 - 2000)," Economics Working Papers 1145, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Martina Zweimüller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Doris Weichselbaumer, 2008. "Market Orientation and Gender Wage Gaps: an International Study," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 615-635, November.

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