Universiteit Leiden

nl en


CSPPR Lecture: Representation and the Trade Roots of the Gender Pay Gap

Tuesday 14 June 2022
Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Gender pay gap

The gender distribution of workers varies across industries, creating inequalities between men and women in their exposure to wage pressures through international trade. Together with Timm Betz and Diana O’Brien, David Fortunato has shown that industries employing more men tend to receive disproportionate trade protection from domestic governments, resulting in gendered protectionism. Analysing the relationship between women’s political representation and gendered protectionism, they found that gendered protectionism is decreasing with women’s share of legislative seats.

Betz, O’Brien and Fortunato demonstrate that gendered protection is a significant correlate of the global gender wage gap, implying that men earn more in part due to protectionist wage premia. Their analyses contribute to mounting evidence of the importance of descriptive representation for policy and, from there, market outcomes, simultaneously improving our understanding of the political underpinnings of the global gender wage gap. Their findings also underscore the link between political representation and the distributional consequences of globalisation, by documenting the differential levels of exposure to trade liberalisation across groups, particularly those underrepresented in government.

David Fortunato is Associate Professor at the School of Global Policy and Strategy (UCSD) and also at the Department of International Economics, Government, and Business (CBS). He studies how policymaking institutions structure decisions made by both governments and voters. He recently published The Cycle of Coalition: How Parties and Voters Interact under Coalition Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2021).


If you cannot attend this lecture on site, you are welcome to join via livestream.

This website uses cookies.  More information.