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Trade Liberalization and Gender Inequality in Emerging Economies - from the Perspective of Sustainable Development Goals

Farha Fatema, Zhaohua Li and Mohammad Monirul Islam
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Farha Fatema: PhD Scholar, School of Economics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, P.R China
Zhaohua Li: School of Economics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, P.R China
Mohammad Monirul Islam: School of Economics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, P.R China

Asian Economic and Financial Review, 2017, vol. 7, issue 11, 1075-1092

Abstract: The study identifies the effect of trade liberalization on gender inequality in labor market, welfare, and empowerment in the emerging economies considering the significance of gender inequality issue in sustainable development goals (SDGs). It uses global gender gap index (GGGI) and its four sub-indexes namely economic participation and opportunity, education, health and politics as indicators of gender inequality in different aspects. Due to the problem of endogeneity and the presence of time-invariant variables Hausman-Taylor estimation technique has been applied to a panel data set of 40 countries for the period of 2006-2014. The results of the study suggest that trade openness significantly reduces gender inequality in labor market in high growth EAGLE and NEST countries but increase the inequality in other emerging economies. The effect of trade openness in reducing gender inequality in welfare and empowerment is positive, but higher trade increases health gap in other emerging economies. The effects of culture and religion on gender inequality are mixed and differ substantially across countries. According to the findings of the study, trade and government expenditure can be used as essential tools to achieve gender equality goal of SDGs if the proper policy is adopted.

Keywords: Gender inequality; Trade liberalization; SDGs; Emerging economies; GGGI. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:asi:aeafrj:2017:p:1075-1092