Impact of Trade Liberalization on Employment in West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU): A Gender Approach

Main Article Content

Lesfran Sam Wanilo Agbahoungba


The main objective of this paper is to assess the impact of trade liberalization on employment in West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) through a gender approach. We apply generalized least squares (GLS) estimation techniques with both random and fixed effects on panel data covering the period of 2000-2017. Due to the lack of data, Guinea-Bissau is not part of our analysis. The results show that, while trade liberalization does not explain women’s employment patterns, it rather contributes in job destruction for men in the WAEMU. In conclusion, the impact of trade liberalization of employment is not gender neutral. Rather, it varies depending on the sex of people. In terms of policy implications, this study calls policy makers to setting up, better negotiating or renegotiating trade agreements and implementing trade policies that are more inclusive and beneficial particularly to the population. This could be done by taking into consideration women’s employment particularities in the union, enhancing productive capacities of men, reducing and eliminating inequalities related to people gender and sex.

Trade liberalization, employment, gender, panel, WAEMU.

Article Details

How to Cite
Agbahoungba, L. S. (2019). Impact of Trade Liberalization on Employment in West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU): A Gender Approach. Journal of Economics, Management and Trade, 24(2), 1-15.
Original Research Article


Seguino S, Were M. Gendered perspectives on economic growth and development in sub-Saharan Africa. WIDER Working Paper; 2014.

Grossman GM, Helpman E. Trade, knowledge spillovers, and growth. Eur. Econ. Rev. 1991;35(2–3):517–526.

Cornia GA, Jolly R, Stewart F. Adjustment with a human face: Protecting the vulnerable and promoting growth-1990. Clarendon Press; 1987.

Wamboye E, Seguino S. Economic structure, trade openness, and gendered employment in sub-­‐Saharan Africa. Feminist Economist. University of Vermont, Burlington; 2012.

Tejani S, Milberg W. Industrial upgrading, deindustrialization and the defeminization of manufacturing employment. SCEPA Working Paper, The New School; 2010.

Arbache JS, Kolev A, Filipiak E. Gender disparities in Africa’s labor market. The World Bank; 2010.

Heckscher EF, Ohlin BG. Heckscher-Ohlin trade theory. The MIT Press; 1991.

Shaikh A. Globalization and the myth of free trade AN WA R SHAIKH. In Globalization and the Myths of Free Trade, Routledge. 2007;70–88.

UNCTAD. Trade and Gender: Unfolding the links; 2010.

Tejani S, Milberg W. Global defeminization. Ind. Upgrad. Occup. Segmentation Manuf. Employ. Middle—Income Ctries; 2010.

Kucera D, Roncolato L, Von Uexkull E. Trade contraction and employment in India and South Africa during the global crisis. World Dev. 2012;40(6):1122–1134.

Von Braun J, Johm KB, Puetz D. Nutritional effects of commercialization of a woman’s crop: Irrigated rice in The Gambia; 2012.

Shiundu KM, Oniang’o RK. Marketing African leafy vegetables: Challenges and opportunities in the Kenyan context. Afr. J. Food Agric. Nutr. Dev. 2007;7(4): 1–17.

Barrientos S, Kritzinger A. Squaring the circle: Global production and the informalization of work in South African fruit exports. J. Int. Dev. 2004;16(1):81–92.

Chan MK. Informal workers in global horticulture and commodities value chains: A review of literature. Women Informal Employ. Glob. Organ. Camb. MA; 2013.

Fontana M, Paciello C. Gender dimensions of rural and agricultural employment: Differentiated pathways out of poverty–A global perspective. In Institute of Development Studies at Sussex (England). Paper submitted to the FAO-IFAD-ILO Workshop on ‘Gaps, Trends and Current Research in Gender Dimensions of Agricultural and Rural Employment: Differentiated Pathways out of Poverty’ Rome. 2009;31.

Ahmed N, Hyder K. Gender inequality and trade liberalization: A case study of Pakistan; 2006.

Baliamoune-Lutz M. Globalisation and gender inequality: Is Africa different? J. Afr. Econ. 2006;16(2):301–348.

Meyer LB. Trade liberalization and women’s integration into national labor markets: A cross-country analysis. Soc. Indic. Res. 2006;75(1):83–121.

Bussolo M, De Hoyos RE. Gender aspects of the trade and poverty nexus: A macro-micro approach. The World Bank; 2009.

Fontana M. Modelling the effects of trade on women, at work and at home: comparative perspectives. Econ. Int. 2004; 3:49–80.

Braunstein E. Neoliberal development macroeconomics: A consideration of its gendered employment effects. United Nations Research Inst. for Social Development; 2012.

Richards DL, Gelleny R. Women’s status and economic globalization. Int. Stud. Q. 2007;51(4):855–876.

Manwa F, Wijeweera A. Trade liberalisation and economic growth link: The case of Southern African Custom Union countries. Econ. Anal. Policy. 2016; 51:12–21.

Ekodo R, Ngomsi A. Ouverture commerciale Et croissance Economique En Zone CEMAC. Journal of Economics and Development Studies. 2017;58–67.

Eriṣ MN, Ulaṣan B. Trade openness and economic growth: Bayesian model averaging estimate of cross-country growth regressions. Econ. Model. 2013;33:867–883.

Zahonogo P. Trade and economic growth in developing countries: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa. J. Afr. Trade. 2016; 3(1–2):41–56.