Is Foreign Direct Investment “Gender Blind”? Women's Rights as a Determinant of US FDI

Academic Article


  • The impact of women's rights on a country's competitiveness in the global economy is a source of contention. While educational opportunities for women, as well as political empowerment, are linked to a variety of positive outcomes, the impact of economic rights is mixed. Toward better understanding these issues, we focus on the role of women's rights in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). Though foreign capital plays a key role in the development strategies of many countries, and many of the growth areas in FDI rely heavily on women's labor, extant literature on the determinants of FDI largely ignores gender. To gain insight into these issues, we examine the impact of women's political, economic, and educational rights across four different types of US FDI into the developing world. We find a mixed relationship between women's rights and FDI that varies across industrial sectors.
  • Published In

  • Feminist Economics  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Blanton RG; Blanton SL
  • Start Page

  • 61
  • End Page

  • 88
  • Volume

  • 21
  • Issue

  • 4