Doctoral student writing

The Impact of FDI on Gender Equality

  • School: Nottingham Business School
  • Starting: 2018
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Self-funded


Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has been growing rapidly since the 1970s; global FDI flows reached a level of USD 1.7 trillion in 2016 (UNCTAD, 2017). FDI has been found to have, under certain conditions, positive productivity spill-overs effects in destination countries through labour mobility, or domestic firms copying technologies and organisational structures of multinational enterprises (see Blomström and Kokko, 2001, and Javorcik, 2004). FDI also has a significant impact on the labour market of the destination country, but the size and the sign of the impact varies (Driffield and Taylor, 2000).

Less evidence exists on whether FDI has any impact on gender equality, i.e. whether or not FDI will affect female and male workers differently. Economic theory suggests that increased globalisation can lead to an increase or decrease of the gender gap (Chen et al., 2013). In the existing literature gender differences are measured by variables such as the gender pay gap, absolute and relative female labour force participation, education opportunities, health, and the general wellbeing of women (Aguayo-Tellez, 2012).

This research aims to provide more evidence on the impact of FDI on gender equality by conducting cross-country or case study analysis of developing and/or developed countries. The researcher would be required to collect and analyse the data using econometric techniques and statistical software packages such as Stata and R.


Aguayo-Tellez, E. (2012). The Impact of Trade Liberalization Policies and FDI on Gender Inequalities. World development report.
Blomström, M., & Kokko, A. (2001). Foreign direct investment and spillovers of technology. International journal of technology management, 22(5-6), 435-454.
Chen, Z., Ge, Y., Lai, H., & Wan, C. (2013). Globalization and gender wage inequality in China. World Development, 44, 256-266.
Driffield, N., & Taylor, K. (2000). FDI and the labour market: a review of the evidence and policy implications. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 16(3), 90-103.
Javorcik, B. (2004). Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers through Backward Linkages. The American Economic Review, 94(3), 605-627.
Neumayer, E., & De Soysa, I. (2011). Globalization and the empowerment of women: an analysis of spatial dependence via trade and foreign direct investment. World development, 39(7), 1065-1075.
Oostendorp, R. H. (2009). Globalization and the gender wage gap. The World Bank Economic Review, 23(1), 141-161.
Potrafke, N., & Ursprung, H. W. (2012). Globalization and gender equality in the course of development. European Journal of Political Economy, 28(4), 399-413.
UNCTAD (2017). World Investment Report 2017: Investment and the Digital Economy. United Nations Publications, Geneva.


Robert Riegler

Entry qualifications

An applicant for admission to read for a PhD should normally hold a first or upper second class honours degree of a UK university or an equivalent qualification, or a lower second class honours degree with a Master's degree at Merit level of a UK university or an equivalent qualification.

International students will also need to meet the English language requirements - IELTS 6.5 (with minimum sub-scores of 6.0). Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university are normally exempt from the English language requirements. A research proposal (between 1,000 and a maximum of 2,000 words) must be submitted as part of the application.

For more information please visit the NTU Doctoral School – Research Degrees webpages.

How to apply

How to apply

Applications are accepted all year round.

Download an application form here.
Please make sure you take a look at our application guidance notes before making your application.

Further information on how to apply can be found on this page.

Fees and funding

This is a self-funded PhD opportunity.

Guidance and support

Further information on guidance and support can be found on this page.

Still need help?

Robert Riegler