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Does Trade Promote Gender Wage Equity?: Evidence from East Asia

Author

Listed:
  • Gunseli Berik
  • Yana van der Meulen Rodgers
  • Joseph E. Zveglich Jr.

Abstract

This study explores the impact of competition from international trade on the gender wage gap in Taiwan and South Korea between 1980 and 1999. The dynamic implications of Becker's 1959 theory of discrimination lead one to expect that increased competition from international trade reduces the incentive for employers to discriminate against women. This effect should be more pronounced in concentrated sectors of the economy, where employers can use excess profits to cover the costs of discrimination. Alternatively, wage discrimination may increase with growing trade limiting women's ability to achieve wage gains. The empirical strategy controls for differences in market structure across industries in order to isolate the effect of competition from international trade. Estimation results are not consistent with Becker's theory, as greater international competition in concentrated sectors is associated with larger wage gaps between men and women.

Suggested Citation

  • Gunseli Berik & Yana van der Meulen Rodgers & Joseph E. Zveglich Jr., 2003. "Does Trade Promote Gender Wage Equity?: Evidence from East Asia," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_373, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_373
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sandra E. Black & Elizabeth Brainerd, 2004. "Importing Equality? The Impact of Globalization on Gender Discrimination," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(4), pages 540-559, July.
    2. Gunseli Berik, 2000. "Mature Export-Led Growth and Gender Wage Inequality in Taiwan," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 1-26.
    3. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth R. Troske, 2002. "Market Forces and Sex Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(2), pages 353-380.
    4. Rhonda M. Williams & Robert E. Kenison, 1996. "The Way We Were?: Discrimination, Competition, and Inter-industry Wage Differentials in 1970," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 1-32, June.
    5. Levinsohn, James, 1993. "Testing the imports-as-market-discipline hypothesis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 1-22, August.
    6. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "Wage Structure and Gender Earnings Differentials: An International Comparison," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 29-62, Suppl..
    7. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    8. Stephanie Seguino, 1997. "Gender wage inequality and export-led growth in South Korea," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(2), pages 102-132.
    9. Mason, Patrick L, 1999. "Male Interracial Wage Differentials: Competing Explanations," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 261-299, May.
    10. Sandra E. Black & Philip E. Strahan, 2001. "The Division of Spoils: Rent-Sharing and Discrimination in a Regulated Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 814-831, September.
    11. Curry, B & George, K D, 1983. "Industrial Concentration: A Survey," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 203-255, March.
    12. George J. Borjas & Valerie A. Ramey, 1995. "Foreign Competition, Market Power, and Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1075-1110.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Maarten Vendrik & Christiane Schwieren, 2010. "Identification, screening and stereotyping in labour market discrimination," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 99(2), pages 141-171, March.
    2. repec:taf:apbizr:v:23:y:2017:i:5:p:713-733 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Somasree Poddar & Sarbajit Chaudhuri, 2016. "Economic Reforms and Gender-Based Wage Inequality in the Presence of Factor Market Distortions," Journal of Quantitative Economics, Springer;The Indian Econometric Society (TIES), vol. 14(2), pages 301-321, December.
    4. Anderson, Edward, 2005. "Openness and inequality in developing countries: A review of theory and recent evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1045-1063, July.
    5. Seguino, Stephanie, 2006. "The great equalizer?: Globalization effects on gender equality in Latin America and the Caribbean," MPRA Paper 6509, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. 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.
    7. repec:ilo:ilowps:370974 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Cagatay, Nilüfer. & Ertürk, Korkuk., 2004. "Gender and globalization : a macroeconomic perspective," ILO Working Papers 993709743402676, International Labour Organization.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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