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Internationalization and gender equality

Sweden is one of the most gender equal countries. At the same time, we are a small and trade dependent economy, which exposes large parts of our labor market to other countries business and gender norms. How this affects the equality between women and men in Sweden is a relatively unexplored question.

The report summarizes what we know today about gender equality and internationalization, both from a Swedish and an international perspective. Our main focus is on the influence of international trade and foreign ownership on labor market related gender gaps.

This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first report to summarize the Swedish research on internationalization and gender equality. One goal is to identify areas where future studies with a gender equality perspective are needed.

The report can be viewed as an introduction to the latest research on internationalization and gender gaps on Swedish data. It also refers to the ongoing policy debate focusing at the intersection of internationalization and gender equality. The debate has gradually moved from only discussing developing countries to also including high-income countries.

One conclusion based on earlier literature is that, depending on the country studied, results vary. For Sweden, research shows an increasing gender wage gap when export increases. The gap is increasing most among managers, but it also grows among white-collar workers. The blue-collar worker gender wage gap seems to be unaffected by exporting.

To address the question of which role firms, and the state, have we would need to know more about the mechanisms behind the gender gap changes. Knowledge about the mechanisms is crucial if we want to know how the firms and the state should, or should not, act.

The Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis identify a number of areas in need of future research to guide policy on internationalization and gender equality.


Internationalization and gender equality

Serial number: Rapport 2023:12

Reference number: 2023/40

Download the report in swedish Pdf, 840.1 kB.


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