Regional Integration in South Asia: Implications for Green Growth, Female Labor Force Participation, and the Gender Wage Gap

40 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2020 Last revised: 24 Jan 2020

See all articles by Muthukumara Mani

Muthukumara Mani

World Bank

Badri Narayanan Gopalakrishnan

Independent

Deepika Wadhwa

India Habitat Centre - Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER)

Date Written: January 22, 2020

Abstract

The study aims to provide insights to policy makers in measuring the impact of trade liberalization and regional integration measures on gender employment and wages. The study incorporates gender-differentiated employment and wages for selected South Asian economies across sectors to identify targeted value chains and economic activities, particularly among green trade sectors. This is the first major attempt to develop a gender-differentiated data set for South Asian countries, within the widely used Global Trade Analysis Project framework, to examine the nexus between trade, green economy, and gender. Two illustrative scenarios are examined. The first scenario examines a complete tariff elimination among the Bhutan-Bangladesh-India-Nepal grouping of countries in all sectors. The second scenario involves complete tariff elimination among countries in South Asia. The results indicate that a free trade agreement signed by all countries is likely to be more beneficial compared with only some countries signing the free trade agreement. Women's employment grows faster than men's employment, as most of the sectors that benefit due to these free trade agreements are women intensive. Growth in women's employment and wages in South Asia is consistent with growth in green sectors.

Suggested Citation

Mani, Muthukumara and Gopalakrishnan, Badri Narayanan and Wadhwa, Deepika, Regional Integration in South Asia: Implications for Green Growth, Female Labor Force Participation, and the Gender Wage Gap (January 22, 2020). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 9119, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3524105

Muthukumara Mani (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Deepika Wadhwa

India Habitat Centre - Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) ( email )

Core 6A, Fourth Floor Lodhi Road
New Delhi, 110003
India

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