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Effects of Trade on Female Labor Force Participation

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  • Philip Sauré
  • Hosny Zoabi

Abstract

Male and female labor are imperfect substitutes and some sectors are more suitable for female employment than others. Clearly, expansions of those sectors that use female labor intensively must affect aggregate female labor force participation (FLFP). We suggest that FLFP actually drops when trade and international specialization expand sectors that use female labor intensively. This effect arises because expansions of the former sectors come along with contractions of others. The latter contractions, in turn, induce male workers to move to the expanding sectors, driving female workers out of formal employment. Thus, a country that is exporting female labor content is actually substituting male labor for female. Finally, building on U.S.-Mexican trade data, we provide empirical evidence that support our argument.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Swiss National Bank in its series Working Papers with number 2009-12.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:snb:snbwpa:2009-12

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Keywords: Trade; Female Labor Force Participation; Fertility; Technological Change;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Silvio Contessi & Francesca de Nicola & Li Li, 2012. "International trade, female labor, and entrepreneurship in MENA countries," Working Papers 2012-053, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. Beyza Ural Marchand & Ray Rees & Raymond Riezman, 2011. "Globalization, Gender and Development: The Effect of Parental Labor Supply on Child Schooling," CESifo Working Paper Series 3341, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Fischer, Justina A.V., 2014. "Globalized markets, globalized information, and female employment: accounting for regional differences in 30 OECD countries," MPRA Paper 55142, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys & Robertson, Raymond, 2012. "The Promise and Peril of Post-MFA Apparel Production," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 84, pages 1-4, May.
  5. Ural Marchand, Beyza & Rees, Ray & Riezman, Raymond, 2011. "The Effect of Parental Labor Supply on Child Schooling: Evidence from Trade Liberalization in India," Working Papers 2011-21, University of Alberta, Department of Economics, revised 01 Mar 2012.
  6. Gladys Lopez-Acevedo & Raymond Robertson, 2012. "The Promise and Peril of Post-MFA Apparel Production," World Bank Other Operational Studies 10043, The World Bank.
  7. Gaddis, Isis & Pieters, Janneke, 2012. "Trade Liberalization and Female Labor Force Participation: Evidence from Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 6809, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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