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Globalization and the gender wage gap

  • Oostendorp, Remco

There are several theoretical reasons why globalization will have a narrowing as well as widening effect on the gender wage gap, but little is known about the actual impact, except for a number of country studies. The author provides a cross-country study of the impact of globalization on the occupational gender wage gap, based on the rarely used but most far-ranging survey of wages around the world, the International Labour Organization's October Inquiry. This annual survey was started in 1924 and contains a wealth of information on wages and the gender wage gap. For the period 1983-99, there is information on the gender wage gap in 161 narrowly defined occupations in more than 80 countries around the world. The author finds the following: (i) The occupational gender wage gap appears to be narrowing with increases inGDP per capita; (ii) There is a significantly narrowing impact of trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) net inflows on the occupational gender wage gap for low-skill occupations, both in poorer and richer countries, and for high-skill occupations in richer countries; (iii) There is no evidence of a narrowing impact of trade, but there is evidence of a widening impact of FDI net inflows on the high-skill occupational gender wage gap in poorer countries; (iv) Wage-setting institutions have a strong impact on the occupational gender wage gap in richer countries.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3256.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3256
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
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  4. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2001. "Trade, growth, and poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2615, The World Bank.
  9. Ozler, Sule, 2000. "Export Orientation and Female Share of Employment: Evidence from Turkey," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1239-1248, July.
  10. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2003. "Understanding International Differences in the Gender Pay Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 106-144, January.
  11. Robbins, Donald & Gindling, T H, 1999. "Trade Liberalization and the Relative Wages for More-Skilled Workers in Costa Rica," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 140-54, June.
  12. 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.
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  20. repec:rus:hseeco:9982 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. 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.
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  23. Richard B. Freeman & Remco Oostendorp, 2000. "Wages Around the World: Pay Across Occupations and Countries," NBER Working Papers 8058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 6849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Gordon H. Hanson, 2003. "What Has Happened to Wages in Mexico since NAFTA?," NBER Working Papers 9563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Filmer, Deon, 2000. "The structure of social disparities in education : gender and wealth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2268, The World Bank.
  27. Busse, Matthias & Spielmann, Christian, 2003. "Gender Discrimination and the International Division of Labour," HWWA Discussion Papers 245, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  28. G¸nseli Berik & Yana van der Meulen Rodgers & Joseph E. Zveglich, 2004. "International Trade and Gender Wage Discrimination: Evidence from East Asia," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 237-254, 05.
  29. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
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