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Gender Inequality and Trade


  • Busse, Matthias
  • Spielmann, Christian


The paper empirically explores the international linkages between gender inequality and trade flows of a sample of 92 developed and developing countries. The focus is on comparative advantage in labour-intensive manufactured goods. The results indicate that gender wage inequality is positively associated with comparative advantage in labour-intensive goods, that is, countries with a larger gender wage gap have higher exports of these goods. Also, gender inequality in labour force activity rates and educational attainment rates are negatively linked with comparative advantage in labour-intensive commodities.

Suggested Citation

  • Busse, Matthias & Spielmann, Christian, 2004. "Gender Inequality and Trade," HWWA Discussion Papers 308, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwadp:26218

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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. Standing, Guy, 1999. "Global Feminization Through Flexible Labor: A Theme Revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 583-602, March.
    3. Dani Rodrik, 2000. "Institutions for High-Quality Growth: What They are and How to Acquire Them," NBER Working Papers 7540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. Seguino, Stephanie, 2000. "The Effects of Structural Change and Economic Liberalisation on Gender Wage Differentials in South Korea and Taiwan," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 437-459, July.
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    11. Bardhan, Kalpana & Klasen, Stephan, 1999. "UNDP's Gender-Related Indices: A Critical Review," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 985-1010, June.
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    13. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162.
    14. Kucera, David & Milberg, William, 2000. "Gender Segregation and Gender Bias in Manufacturing Trade Expansion: Revisiting the "Wood Asymmetry"," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1191-1210, July.
    15. 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.
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    More about this item


    Gender Inequality; Trade; Comparative Advantage;

    JEL classification:

    • J80 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - General
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions


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