Josefin Videnord defends her doctoral thesis "Trade, Innovation, and Gender"


On Friday, September 29, Josefin Videnord defends her doctoral thesis "Trade, Innovation, and Gender" in Hall 2 at Ekonomikum. Welcome!

Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

Josefin’s thesis discusses two important topics in relation to international trade; gender inequality and firm-level innovations. The first two chapters address how international trade influences the gender wage gap in Swedish firms, and provide new answers to if who you trade with, and if what you trade, matters for the gender wage differential. The third chapter explores the impact of trade shocks on firm-level R&D investments and innovations. In the fourth and final chapter, the heterogeneous effects of publicly sponsored R&D grants are investigated.

With few exceptions, the literature on international trade has been silent on how international trade influences gender-specific labor market outcomes.  Therefore, one major contribution of the thesis is showing that international trade generates different labor market outcomes for men and women. The results highlight that increased exports to gender-unequal countries and exporting goods intense in interpersonal connections contribute to an increasing gender wage gap.

Another contribution is the finding that market-expanding demand shocks lead to more R&D investments and increases in both product and process innovation. Furthermore, Josefin shows that the opposite is true for innovations when a firm is exposed to a supply shock, a finding explained by increased access to cheap inputs and in-house innovative activities being complements.

A final contribution of the thesis is the finding that the effect of publicly sponsored R&D grants depends on regional access to skilled labor, which speaks to the ongoing debate on public support to private firms.

Last modified: 2023-06-21