Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



This working paper investigates the impact of trade openness on wage and job quality outcomes in the Egyptian manufacturing sector over a period of rapid trade liberalization. Results indicate that institutional factors of job quality (social security, medical insurance, a contract, paid casual leave, paid sick leave, and membership in a trade union) have the strongest correlation with the trade variables and the industry-specific characteristics used in the analysis. Tariff reduction per se, does not seem to have had a significant impact on either wages or job quality. On the other hand, increased export orientation exerts a strong positive impact on wages but a significant negative impact on all job quality indices in many specifications. Finally, industries with the highest import penetration levels have the lowest job quality, but those that had the largest increase in import penetration also saw large improvements in job quality. The results underscore the clear distinction between wage and job quality outcomes in the Egyptian labor market and the importance of separating the two when examining the effect of trade policy on labor.