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Globalization, Uncertainty and Women’s Careers

An International Comparison

Edited by Hans-Peter Blossfeld and Heather Hofmeister

Globalization, Uncertainty and Women’s Careers assesses the effects of globalization on the life courses of women in thirteen countries across Europe and America in the second half of the 20th century.
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Chapter 5: Globalization, Deindustrialization and the Labor Market Experiences of Swedish Women, 1950 to 2000

Tomas Korpi and Charlotta Stern


Tomas Korpi and Charlotta Stern 1 INTRODUCTION Globalization is a word with cultural, social and economic connotations. The economic meaning of the word is perhaps the most unequivocal, namely as an increase in international trade and the internationalization of financial markets. In recent decades, the industrialized world has seen an increase in both areas, and the consequence of these developments at the individual level is an area of intense public and academic debate. Heated disputes around the ratification of various multilateral agreements (North American Free Trade Agreement – NAFTA, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade – GATT, European Union – EU) are mirrored by a wealth of research on the development of wages and employment. Of particular concern has here been the situation of less educated/unskilled workers. Increasing wage inequality and/or unemployment has thus been linked to international trade, skill-biased technical change and investment patterns. For a thorough investigation of the consequences of globalization on Swedish women’s labor market involvement, we would need a counterfactual, that is, a case describing what would have taken place on the Swedish labor market if globalization had never occurred. Empirical research normally tries to construct relevant comparisons of this kind either through an experimental design or through multivariate analysis. A comparative approach such as the one used in this project may be seen as an alternative in which other countries act as control groups. A study based on a single country may nonetheless be informative in itself, and the analyses in this chapter are based on two...

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