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The Impact of FDI on Gender Equality: conducting cross-country or case study analysis of developing and/or developed countries

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has been growing rapidly since the 1970s; global FDI flows reached a level of USD 1.7 trillion in 2016 (UNCTAD, 2017). FDI has been found to have, under certain conditions, positive productivity spill-overs effects in destination countries through labour mobility, or domestic firms copying technologies and organisational structures of multinational enterprises (see Blomström and Kokko, 2001, and Javorcik, 2004). FDI also has a significant impact on the labour market of the destination country, but the size and the sign of the impact varies (Driffield and Taylor, 2000).

Less evidence exists on whether FDI has any impact on gender equality, i.e. whether or not FDI will affect female and male workers differently. Economic theory suggests that increased globalisation can lead to an increase or decrease of the gender gap (Chen et al., 2013). In the existing literature gender differences are measured by variables such as the gender pay gap, absolute and relative female labour force participation, education opportunities, health, and the general wellbeing of women (Aguayo-Tellez, 2012).

This research aims to provide more evidence on the impact of FDI on gender equality by conducting cross-country or case study analysis of developing and/or developed countries. The researcher would be required to collect and analyse the data using econometric techniques and statistical software packages such as Stata and R.


Aguayo-Tellez, E. (2012). The Impact of Trade Liberalization Policies and FDI on Gender Inequalities. World development report.
Blomström, M., & Kokko, A. (2001). Foreign direct investment and spillovers of technology. International journal of technology management, 22(5-6), 435-454.
Chen, Z., Ge, Y., Lai, H., & Wan, C. (2013). Globalization and gender wage inequality in China. World Development, 44, 256-266.
Driffield, N., & Taylor, K. (2000). FDI and the labour market: a review of the evidence and policy implications. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 16(3), 90-103.
Javorcik, B. (2004). Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers through Backward Linkages. The American Economic Review, 94(3), 605-627.
Neumayer, E., & De Soysa, I. (2011). Globalization and the empowerment of women: an analysis of spatial dependence via trade and foreign direct investment. World development, 39(7), 1065-1075.
Oostendorp, R. H. (2009). Globalization and the gender wage gap. The World Bank Economic Review, 23(1), 141-161.
Potrafke, N., & Ursprung, H. W. (2012). Globalization and gender equality in the course of development. European Journal of Political Economy, 28(4), 399-413.
UNCTAD (2017). World Investment Report 2017: Investment and the Digital Economy. United Nations Publications, Geneva.

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