Bargaining for Trade: When Exporting Becomes Detrimental to Female Wages

19  September 2023    2:00 pm CEST

Presenters: Patrik Tingvall (National Board of Trade Sweden) and Josefin Videnord (Uppsala University), Discussant: Federica De Pace (OECD)

In cooperation with:


This is an online event via Zoom. Please register using the link below.


This presentation is based on a paper from Daniel Halvarsson, Olga Lark, Patrik Tingvall and Josefin Videnord.

In this paper, we study exports and how the associated need for communication with foreign partners shapes the gender wage gap. Specifically, we examine how the demand for interpersonal skills in trade and gender-specific differences in negotiations are related to the remuneration of men and women. Our key finding is that export of goods that are intensive in interpersonal contacts widens the gender wage gap. The negative wage effect is robust across various specifications and is most pronounced for domestic exporting firms, which mainly deal with external contractors. We ascribe this result to a male comparative advantage in bargaining—a skill that is especially needed and rewarded when serving foreign markets, where intense contracting problems manifest themselves.

The presentations are available down below.

 * The views expressed in this paper/presentation are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD and its member countries.

Registration link for online participation:

Patrik Tangvell

Patrik Tingvall is a professor of economics and chief economist at the National Board of Trade Sweden. Tingvall also serves as an affiliated researcher at the European Institute of Japanese Studies at the Stockholm School of Economics.
Tingvall's research is focused on international trade, foreign direct investment, and economic growth, in which he has numerous publications. In recent years, questions related to non-tariff barriers, subsidies, rules of origin, the internationalization of firms, and the gender pay gap have become increasing areas of his research. During the period 2017-2023, Tingvall has been in charge of a research project exploring various links between the globalization of firms and the gender pay gap. A novel feature of this research includes how the need for buyer-seller interactions for trade to occur and gender differences in negotiations may play a part in the gender pay gap puzzle.

Josefin Videnord

Josefin Videnord is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Department of Economics, Uppsala University. She also works as an analyst at the Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis, Growth Analysis, in Stockholm.
Josefin Videnord answers questions at the intersection of international trade and labor economics to highlight the differential effects of globalization on different groups of firms and workers. Her research interests also include the impact of international trade on firm behavior, and in particular on firms' R&D and innovation decisions. 

Federica De Pace

Federica De Pace is Economist at the OECD, Economics Department. She holds a PhD from the Queen Mary University of London. De Pace has worked on labour and international economics and is currently at the Israel/Slovak Republic Desk of the OECD Economics Department.

Related literature:

  • Bøler, E. A., Javorcik, B. and Ulltveit-Moe, K. H. (2018). Working across time zones: Exporters and the gender wage gap. Journal of International Economics, 111, 122–133.
  • Bonfiglioli, A. and De Pace, F. (2021). Export, female comparative advantage and the gender wage gap. CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP15801.
  • Halvarsson, D., Lark, O. and Tingvall, P. (2022). Foreign ownership and transferring of gender norms. Lund University Working Paper No. 2022:6
  • Halvarsson, D., Lark, O., Tingvall, P. & Videnord, J. (2022). Bargaining for Trade: When Exporting Becomes Detrimental for Female Wages. Lund University Working Papers; no. 2022:13
  • Foreign Ownership and Transferring of Gender Norms Halvarsson, D., Lark, O. & Tingvall, P. G. (2022).  Lund University Working Papers; no. 2022:6.
  • Daniel Halvarsson, Olga Lark, Patrik Gustavsson Tingvall, Priit Vahter & Josefin Videnord, (2023). Do gender norms travel within corporations? The impact of foreign subsidiaries on the home country’s gender wage gap, Applied Economics Letters, DOI: 10.1080/13504851.2023.2205093.

The organizers gratefully acknowledge support from EU Horizon MSCA Fellowship program.

Keywords: Export; Gender wage gap; Gender inequality; Contract intensity; Interpersonal contacts; International trade

JEL classification: J16, J31, F16, F66