Working across time zones: Exporters and the gender wage gap

Mar 2018

Journal of International Economics, Vol. 111, p. 122 - 133


E.A. Boler, B. Javorcik and K.H. Ulltveit-Moe
This study argues that there is a systematic difference in the gender wage gap (GWG) between exporting firms and non-exporters. Exporters may require greater commitment from their employees, such as working particular hours to communicate with partners in different time zones or travelling at short notice, and may therefore disproportionately reward employee flexibility. If women are less flexible, or perceived as such, exporters will exhibit a higher GWG than non-exporters. This hypothesis is examined using matched employer-employee data from the Norwegian manufacturing sector for 1996–2010. The results suggest a firm's entry into exporting increases the GWG by about 3 percentage points for college educated workers. A lower overlap in business hours between the Norwegian exporter and its foreign markets and a greater need for interactions with foreign buyers are associated with a higher GWG.

Department Author

Beata Javorcik

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