ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Export-oriented Industrialisation, Female Employment and Gender Wage Equity in East Asia

This paper investigates if export growth in manufacturing in east Asia led to a removal of labour market rigidities and the institutional biases of gender-based discrimination as commonly argued. It challenges the orthodox perspective by looking more closely at industrial employment in the region by gender. Gender discrimination in the region's labour markets seems to have survived economic liberalisation, with the large gender wage gaps characteristic of the region not closing despite rapid growth and full employment, and sometimes even becoming larger in some of the more developed economies in the region.

This article has been greatly expanded from my paper Globalisation, Export-Oriented Industrialisation, Female Employment and Equity in East Asia prepared for the United Nations Research Institute on Social Development project on Globalisation, Export-Oriented Employment for Women and Social Policy. I am appreciative of Shahra Razavis initial encouragement, as well as of Cristina Paciellos assistance in preparing the tables on female manufacturing employment and Miriam Rehms help in updating them. Needless to say, I am solely responsible for this paper.

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