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Where the Girls Are: Trade and Labor Market Segregation in Colombia


  • Ederington, Josh

    () (University of Kentucky)

  • Minier, Jenny

    () (University of Kentucky)

  • Troske, Kenneth

    () (University of Kentucky)


Gary Becker's theory of discrimination argues that increasing competition will reduce discrimination in the labor market. We use the Colombian trade liberalization episode over the period 1984–91 to investigate this claim on plant-level data in three ways. First, we examine whether women are concentrated in exporting plants. Second, we examine whether the increase in foreign competition due to unilateral trade liberalization disproportionately drove discriminating plants out of the market. Finally, we investigate whether trade liberalization affected hiring decisions (and thus gender segregation) by Colombian firms.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4131

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Shepherd, Ben & Stone, Susan, 2017. "Trade and Women," ADBI Working Papers 648, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    2. Winters, L. Alan, 2014. "Globalization, Infrastructure, and Inclusive Growth," ADBI Working Papers 464, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    3. Araújo, Bruno César & Paz, Lourenço S., 2014. "The effects of exporting on wages: An evaluation using the 1999 Brazilian exchange rate devaluation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 1-16.
    4. 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.
    5. Janneke Pieters, 2015. "Trade liberalization and gender inequality," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 114-114, January.
    6. Johannes Schwarzer, 2016. "Trade and Employment. An Overview," Discussion Notes 1601, Council on Economic Policies.

    More about this item


    discrimination; trade; competition;

    JEL classification:

    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination

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