The Decline of Patriarchy in High-Tech Economies: Economic Growth and the Gender Wage Gap in the East Asian Tigers, 1980-2010

University essay from Lunds universitet/Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen

Abstract: Previous research suggests that gender wage discrimination contributes to economic growth in the context of female-dominated low-tech manufacturing and patriarchal employment systems, such as the ones found in the East Asian Tigers in the 1960s to 1980s. In a panel data analysis, this thesis investigates the relationship between the gender wage gap and economic growth in the four East Asian Tigers from 1980 to 2010. It thereby assesses whether findings of previous research hold throughout the countries’ later structural transformation. The findings suggest that in economies experiencing the decline of typically female-dominated low-tech sectors, gender wage discrimination is negatively related to economic growth. In economies who do not experience the decline of such sectors, the relationship remains positive. This implies that economies with large female-dominated low-tech sectors may consider reducing gender wage discrimination in favour of economic growth in the course of structural transformation.

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