Globalization and Wage Inequality in South and East Asia, and Latin America: A Gender Approach


In this paper we analyse the reasons behind the evolution of the gender gap and wage inequality in South and East Asian and Latin American countries. Health human capital improvements, the exposure to free market openness and equal treatment enforcement laws seem to be the main exogenous variables affecting womenís economic condition. During the second globalization era (in the years 1975-2000) different combinations of these variables in South East Asian and Latin American countries have had as a result the diminution of the gender gap. The main exception to this rule according to our data is China where economic reforms have been simultaneous to the increase of gender differences and inequality between men and women. This result has further normative consequences for the measure of economic inequality. The improvement of women's condition has as a result the diminution of the dispersion of wages. Therefore in most of the countries analysed the consequence of the diminution of the gender gap during the second global era is the decrease of wage inequality both measured with Gini and Theil indexes.