Format of Original
Walter de Gruyter
Business and Politics
Original Item ID
Over time and across countries, researchers have noted frequent and mostly unexplained gender differences in the levels of support for policies of free or freer trade: according to aggregate results from many surveys, women tend to be less favorable toward policies of liberalizing trade than men. Positing an economic security explanation based largely on a mobile factors approach, we ask if it is women generally who are more negative toward trade or rather women who are more economically vulnerable – i.e., women from the scarce labor factor. We utilize data from two recent surveys on individuals’ attitudes toward different facets of trade and its effects to examine this hypothesis empirically. Rejecting a monolithic definition of “women,” we find that disaggregating by education level illuminates to some extent what underlying characteristics might be helping to drive some of these findings. Lower-skilled women in the US are much less likely to support free trade compared to higher-skilled women and this may largely explain previous negative findings. The low versus high-skill dynamic is, however, much less clear in the findings using survey data from a small sample of developing countries.
Drope, Jeffrey and Chowdhury, Abdur, "The Puzzle of Heterogeneity in Support for Free Trade" (2014). Economics Faculty Research and Publications. 519.