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Did Trade Liberalization Help Women? the Case of Mexico in the 1990s

Ernesto Aguayo-Téllez (), Jim Airola (), Chinhui Juhn and Carolina Villegas-Sanchez ()

A chapter in New Analyses of Worker Well-Being, 2014, vol. 38, pp 1-35 from Emerald Publishing Ltd

Abstract: Abstract With the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, Mexico entered a bilateral free trade agreement which not only lowered its own tariffs on imports but also lowered tariffs on its exports to the United States. We find that women’s relative wage increased, particularly during the period of liberalization. Both between and within-industry shifts also favored female workers. With regards to between-industry shifts, tariff reductions expanded sectors that were initially female intensive. With regards to within-industry shifts, we find a positive association between reductions in export tariffs (U.S. tariffs on Mexican goods) and hiring of women in skilled blue-collar occupations. Finally, we find suggestive evidence that household bargaining power shifted in favor of women. Expenditures shifted from goods associated with male preference, such as men’s clothing and tobacco and alcohol, to those associated with female preference such as women’s clothing and education.

Keywords: Trade; gender; inequality; D3; F15; J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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Working Paper: Did Trade Liberalization Help Women? The Case of Mexico in the 1990s (2010) Downloads
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