IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Men, women, and machines: How trade impacts gender inequality

  • Juhn, Chinhui
  • Ujhelyi, Gergely
  • Villegas-Sanchez, Carolina

This paper studies the effect of trade liberalization on an under-explored aspect of wage inequality — gender inequality. We consider a model where firms differ in their productivity and workers are differentiated by skill as well as gender. A reduction in tariffs induces more productive firms to modernize their technology and enter the export market. New technologies involve computerized production processes and lower the need for physically demanding skills. As a result, the relative wage and employment of women improves in blue-collar tasks, but not in white-collar tasks. We test our model using a panel of establishment level data from Mexico exploiting tariff reductions associated with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Consistent with our theory we find that tariff reductions caused new firms to enter the export market, update their technology and replace male blue-collar workers with female blue-collar workers.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304387813001363
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 106 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 179-193

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:106:y:2014:i:c:p:179-193
DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2013.09.009
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. David Atkin, 2016. "Endogenous Skill Acquisition and Export Manufacturing in Mexico," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(8), pages 2046-85, August.
  2. Thomas, D., 1989. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Papers 586, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  3. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2007. "Distributional Effects of Globalization in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(1), pages 39-82, March.
  4. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itshoki & Stephen Redding, 2009. "Inequality and unemployment in a global economy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25501, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
  6. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1997. "Swimming Upstream: Trends in the Gender Wage Differential in 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-42, January.
  7. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Petia Topalova & Amit Khandelwal, 2011. "Trade Liberalization and Firm Productivity: The Case of India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 995-1009, August.
  9. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530.
  10. Paula Bustos, 2009. "Trade liberalization, exports and technology upgrading: Evidence on the impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinean firms," Economics Working Papers 1173, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  11. Miguel Székely & Nancy Birdsall & Jere R. Behrman, 2000. "Economics Reform and Wage Differentials in Latin America," Research Department Publications 4235, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  12. Claudia Goldin, 2002. "A Pollution Theory of Discrimination: Male and Female Differences in Occupations and Earnings," NBER Working Papers 8985, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Esther Duflo, 2011. "Women's Empowerment and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 17702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Leonardo Iacovone & BeataS. Javorcik, 2010. "Multi-Product Exporters: Product Churning, Uncertainty and Export Discoveries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 481-499, 05.
  15. Paola Giuliano, 2012. "On The Origins Of Gender Roles: Women And The Plough," 2012 Meeting Papers 1186, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  16. Michelle Rendall, 2010. "Brain versus Brawn: The Realization of Women's Comparative Advantage," 2010 Meeting Papers 926, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Nina Pavcnik, 2000. "What Explains Skill Upgrading in Less Developed Countries?," NBER Working Papers 7846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1995. "The Gender Gap, Fertility and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Márton Csillag & Miklós Koren, 2011. "Machines and machinists: Capital-skill complementarity from an international trade perspective," CeFiG Working Papers 13, Center for Firms in the Global Economy, revised 25 Mar 2011.
  20. Daron Acemoglu, 1999. "Patterns of Skill Premia," NBER Working Papers 7018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Ederington, Josh & Minier, Jenny & Troske, Kenneth, 2009. "Where the Girls Are: Trade and Labor Market Segregation in Colombia," IZA Discussion Papers 4131, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Stephen Redding, 2010. "Trade and Labor Market Outcomes," CEP Discussion Papers dp1028, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  23. Robertson, Raymond, 2004. "Relative prices and wage inequality: evidence from Mexico," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 387-409, December.
  24. Mary Amiti & Donald R. Davis, 2008. "Trade, Firms, and Wages: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 14106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Gordon H. Hanson & Ann Harrison, 1999. "Trade Liberalization and Wage Inequality in Mexico," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(2), pages 271-288, January.
  26. Mary Amiti & Jozef G Konings, 2005. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs, and Productivity; Evidence from Indonesia," IMF Working Papers 05/146, International Monetary Fund.
  27. Cragg, Michael Ian & Epelbaum, Mario, 1996. "Why has wage dispersion grown in Mexico? Is it the incidence of reforms or the growing demand for skills?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 99-116, October.
  28. Revenga, Ana, 1997. "Employment and Wage Effects of Trade Liberalization: The Case of Mexican Manufacturing," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages S20-43, July.
  29. Paula Bustos, 2011. "The Impact of Trade Liberalization on Skill Upgrading Evidence from Argentina," Working Papers 559, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  30. Qian, Nancy, 2006. "Missing Women and the Price of Tea in China: The Effect of Sex-Specific Earnings on Sex Imbalance," CEPR Discussion Papers 5986, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  31. Orazio Attanasio & Pinelopi Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2003. "Trade Reforms and Wage Inequiality in Colombia," NBER Working Papers 9830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Ozler, Sule, 2000. "Export Orientation and Female Share of Employment: Evidence from Turkey," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1239-1248, July.
  33. Chinhui Juhn & Gergely Ujhelyi & Carolina Villegas-Sanchez, 2013. "Trade Liberalization and Gender Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 269-73, May.
  34. Bruce A. Weinberg, 2000. "Computer Use and the Demand for Female Workers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(2), pages 290-308, January.
  35. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2001. "The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Working Papers 8337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Oostendorp, Remco, 2004. "Globalization and the gender wage gap," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3256, The World Bank.
  37. Do, Quy-Toan & Levchenko, Andrei A. & Raddatz, Claudio, 2011. "Engendering trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5777, The World Bank.
  38. Irene Brambilla & Daniel Lederman & Guido Porto, 2010. "Exports, Export Destinations, and Skills," NBER Working Papers 15995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. Zadia M. Feliciano, 2001. "Workers and Trade Liberalization: The Impact of Trade Reforms in Mexico on Wages and Employment," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, October.
  40. Ernesto Aguayo-Tellez & Jim Airola & Chinhui Juhn, 2010. "Did Trade Liberalization Help Women? The Case of Mexico in the 1990s," NBER Working Papers 16195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:106:y:2014:i:c:p:179-193. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.