Globalization and Female Empowerment: Evidence from Myanmar

Journal Article
Published on 4 June 2021

Working paper available through PEDL. Article forthcoming.


This paper examines whether globalization promotes female empowerment by improving the job opportunities available to women. Previous work has documented that exporting causally improved working conditiosn at predominationly female garment factories in Myanmar. In this study, restricting to garmetn factory neighborhoods, we find that women living near exporting factories (as opposed to non-exporting factories) report significantly higher employment rates and more joing household decision-making; they have lower tolerance of domestic violence and are less likely to be victims of domestic violence. We reach the same conclustions with an instrumental variables strategy that uses distance to the airport as an instrument.


Teresa Molina

University of Hawai'i at Manoa

Mari Tanaka

Hitotsubashi University