Bilge Erten, Pinar Keskin, 18 February 2022

Import competition and trade-induced job losses impact people differently by gender. However, little is known about the potential effects of trade liberalisation on intimate partner violence experienced by women. This column examines the aftermath of large-scale unilateral trade liberalisation enacted by Cambodia in 2004 when it became a WTO member. In districts facing larger tariff reductions, men’s paid employment significantly declined, while women’s employment in family enterprises increased. Women in those districts also experienced an increase in physical, sexual, and psychological violence. Neglecting such potentially large backlashes may yield upward-biased estimates of the societal benefits of trade liberalisation.



CEPR Policy Research