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Engendering trade

  • Do, Quy-Toan
  • Levchenko, Andrei A.
  • Raddatz, Claudio

The authors analyze the interaction between a country's world market integration and its attitude towards gender roles. They discuss both theoretically and empirically how female empowerment is a source of comparative advantage that shapes a country's response to trade opening. Reciprocally, the authors show that as countries integrate into the world economy, the costs and benefits of gender discrimination shift. Their theory goes beyond a potential aggregate wealth effect associated with trade opening, and emphasizes the heterogeneity of impacts. On the one hand, countries in which women are empowered -- measured by fertility rates, female labor force participation or female schooling -- experience an expansion of industries that use female labor relatively more intensively. On the other hand, the gender gap is smaller in countries that export more in relatively female-labor intensive sectors. In an increasingly globalized economy, the road to gender equality is paradoxically very specific to each country’s productive structure and exposure to world markets.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5777.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5777
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  1. 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.
  2. Santos Silva, J.M.C & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2005. "The Log of Gravity," CEPR Discussion Papers 5311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Rubinstein, Yona & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," Scholarly Articles 3228230, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Mark M. Pitt & Mark Rosenzweig & Nazmul Hassan, 2010. "Human Capital Investment and the Gender Division of Labor," Working Papers 989, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  5. Remco H. Oostendorp, 2009. "Globalization and the Gender Wage Gap," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 23(1), pages 141-161, January.
  6. Rubén Segura-Cayuela, 2006. "Inefficient policies, inefficient institutions and trade," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0633, Banco de Espa�a.
  7. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-87, June.
  8. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2006. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  9. 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.
  10. John Romalis, 2004. "Factor Proportions and the Structure of Commodity Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 67-97, March.
  11. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn, 2011. "Fertility and the Plough," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 499-503, May.
  12. Pitt, Mark M. & Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Hassan, Nazmul, 2010. "Human Capital Investment and the Gender Division of Labor in a Brawn-Based Economy," Working Papers 83, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  13. Do, Quy-Toan & Levchenko, Andrei A., 2006. "Comparative advantage, demand for external finance, and financial development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3889, The World Bank.
  14. Michelle Rendall, 2010. "Brain versus brawn: the realization of women's comparative advantage," IEW - Working Papers 491, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  15. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2004. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," IMF Working Papers 04/231, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Matias Braun & Claudio Raddatz, 2008. "The Politics of Financial Development: Evidence from Trade Liberalization," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(3), pages 1469-1508, 06.
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