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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. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2006. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  2. 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.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn, 2011. "Fertility and the Plough," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 499-503, May.
  4. Remco H. Oostendorp, 2009. "Globalization and the Gender Wage Gap," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 23(1), pages 141-161, January.
  5. 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.
  6. Joao Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "The Log of Gravity," CEP Discussion Papers dp0701, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1995. "The Gender Gap, Fertility and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Michelle Rendall, 2010. "Brain versus Brawn: The Realization of Women's Comparative Advantage," 2010 Meeting Papers 926, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Rubinstein, Yona & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," Scholarly Articles 3228230, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Ruben Segura-Cayuela, 2006. "Inefficient Policies, Inefficient Institutions and Trade," 2006 Meeting Papers 502, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. 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.
  12. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2004. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," IMF Working Papers 04/231, International Monetary Fund.
  13. 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.
  14. Mark M. Pitt & Mark R. Rosenzweig & Mohammad Nazmul Hassan, 2012. "Human Capital Investment and the Gender Division of Labor in a Brawn-Based Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3531-60, December.
  15. John Romalis, 2004. "Factor Proportions and the Structure of Commodity Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 67-97, March.
  16. Nancy Qian, 2008. "Missing Women and the Price of Tea in China: The Effect of Sex-Specific Earnings on Sex Imbalance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1251-1285, August.
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