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Effects of Trade on Female Labor Force Participation

Hosny Zoabi () and Philip Sauré ()

DEGIT Conference Papers from DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade

Abstract: This paper uncovers a counter-intuitive effect of international trade on female labor shares: whenever trade expands, sectors intensive in female labor, female labor shares drop and vice versa. According to our key assumption a rising capital labor ratio closes the gender wage gap. The paper’s mechanism operates as follows. Expansions of sectors intensive in female labor come along with contractions of sectors intensive in male labor. These contractions imply that male labor reallocates to sectors intensive in female labor. The capital labor ratio in the latter sectors drops, which widens the gender wage gap and causes a decrease in aggregate female labor shares. Based on instrumented U.S.-Mexican trade flows, we provide empirical evidence in support of our theory.

Keywords: Trade; Female Labor Force Participation; Fertility; Technological Change (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F10 F16 J13 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-09
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http://degit.sam.sdu.dk/papers/degit_15/c015_015.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Effects of Trade on Female Labor Force Participation (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Effects of Trade on Female Labor Force Participation (2009) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:deg:conpap:c015_015

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