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Globalization, Women’s Economic Rights and Forced Labor

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  • Eric Neumayer

    (London School of Economics)

  • Indra de Soysa

    (Norwegian University of Science & Technology NTNU , Norway)

Abstract

Globalization critics are concerned that increased trade openness and foreign direct investment exacerbate existing economic disadvantages of women and foster conditions for forced labor. Defenders of globalization argue instead that as countries become more open and competition intensifies, discrimination against any group, including women, becomes more difficult to sustain and is therefore likely to recede. The same is argued with respect to forced labor. This article puts these competing claims to an empirical test. We find that countries that are more open to trade provide better economic rights to women and have a lower incidence of forced labor. This effect holds in a global sample as well as in a developing country sub-sample and holds also when potential feedback effects are controlled via instrumental variable regression. The extent of an economy’s ‘penetration’ by foreign direct investment has no statistically significant impact. Globalization might weaken the general bargaining position of labor such that outcome-related labor standards might suffer. However, being more open toward trade is likely to promote rather than hinder the realization of two labor rights considered as core or fundamental by the International Labour Organization, namely the elimination of economic discrimination and of forced labor.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Neumayer & Indra de Soysa, 2005. "Globalization, Women’s Economic Rights and Forced Labor," Labor and Demography 0509011, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0509011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Krieger, Tim & Meierrieks, Daniel, 2013. "The rise of market-capitalism and the roots of anti-American terrorism," Discussion Paper Series 2013-04, University of Freiburg, Wilfried Guth Endowed Chair for Constitutional Political Economy and Competition Policy.
    2. Niklas Potrafke & Heinrich Ursprung, 2011. "Globalization and Gender Equality in Developing Countries," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2011-33, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    3. Ulla Lehmijoki & Tapio Palokangas, 2009. "Population growth overshooting and trade in developing countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(1), pages 43-56, January.
    4. Potrafke, Niklas & Ursprung, Heinrich W., 2012. "Globalization and gender equality in the course of development," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 399-413.
    5. Amanda Murdie & Dursun Peksen, 2015. "Women’s rights INGO shaming and the government respect for women’s rights," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 1-22, March.
    6. Asongu, Simplice & Efobi, Uchenna & Tanankem, Belmondo, 2017. "On the Relationship between Globalisation and the Economic Participation of Women in Sub-Saharan Africa," MPRA Paper 78860, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Tatyana Chesnokova & Jesmin Rupa & Nicholas Sim, 2015. "Export Exposure and Gender Specific Work Participation in Indonesia," School of Economics Working Papers 2015-16, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    8. Neumayer, Eric & de Soysa, Indra, 2011. "Globalization and the Empowerment of Women: An Analysis of Spatial Dependence via Trade and Foreign Direct Investment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1065-1075, July.
    9. Salahodjaev, Raufhon & Azam, Sardor, 2015. "Intelligence and gender (in)equality: empirical evidence from developing countries," MPRA Paper 66295, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    JEL classification:

    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics

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