Does Trade Promote Gender Wage Equity? Evidence from East Asia

Levy Economics Institute Working Paper No. 373

40 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2003

See all articles by Gunseli Berik

Gunseli Berik

University of Utah

Yana Rodgers

Rutgers University - Department of Women's and Gender Studies

Joseph E. Zveglich

Asian Development Bank; Harvard University

Date Written: November 2002

Abstract

This study explores the impact of competition from international trade on the gender wage gap in Taiwan and South Korea between 1980 and 1999. The dynamic implications of Becker's 1959 theory of discrimination lead one to expect that increased competition from international trade reduces the incentive for employers to discriminate against women. This effect should be more pronounced in concentrated sectors of the economy, where employers can use excess profits to cover the costs of discrimination. Alternatively, wage discrimination may increase with growing trade limiting women's ability to achieve wage gains. The empirical strategy controls for differences in market structure across industries in order to isolate the effect of competition from international trade. Estimation results are not consistent with Becker's theory, as greater international competition in concentrated sectors is associated with larger wage gaps between men and women.

Keywords: discrimination, gender wage gap, East Asia

JEL Classification: F14, F15, J31

Suggested Citation

Berik, Gunseli and Rodgers, Yana and Zveglich, Joseph E., Does Trade Promote Gender Wage Equity? Evidence from East Asia (November 2002). Levy Economics Institute Working Paper No. 373. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=382945 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.382945

Gunseli Berik (Contact Author)

University of Utah ( email )

260 S. Central Campus Dr.
OSH 243
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States
801-581-7481 (Phone)

Yana Rodgers

Rutgers University - Department of Women's and Gender Studies ( email )

162 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
United States
732-932-9331 (Phone)
732-932-1335 (Fax)

Joseph E. Zveglich

Asian Development Bank ( email )

6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550
Metro Manila
Philippines
(632) 632-5507 (Phone)

Harvard University ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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