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Globalization and the Gender Wage Gap

by R. H. Oostendorp
The World Bank Economic Review ()

Abstract

There are several theoretical reasons why globalization will have a narrowing as well as a widening effect on the gender wage gap, but little is known about the actual impact, except for some country studies. This study contributes to the literature in three respects. First, it is a large cross-country study of the impact of globalization on the gender wage gap. Second, it employs the rarely used ILO October Inquiry database, which is the most far-ranging survey of wages around the world. Third, it focuses on the within-occupation gender wage gap, an alternative to the commonly used raw and residual wage gaps as a measure of the gender wage gap. This study finds that the occupational gender wage gap tends to decrease with increasing economic development, at least in richer countries, and to decrease with trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) in richer countries, but finds little evidence that trade and FDI also reduce the occupational gender wage gap in poorer countries.

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