This paper maps gender‐related outcomes of the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Code (GPC) by highlighting the role of deskilling in changing labor market rewards for women employed in traditionally feminine service occupations.
The emergence of the “contract state” is examined as a major response to the GPC, one, that generates fragmentation and promotes deskilling in public service jobs. Fragmentation is examined by comparing average income in direct public employment and in public procurement contracts.
In the context of service procurement, previous collective agreements recognizing skill and experience are circumvented generating precarious employment for skilled employees.
The analysis unveils the ways in which the contract state through its prioritization of low‐cost bids, promotes women's deskilling in public services. It contributes to a better understanding of the importance of employees' representatives' active participation in tender committees as well as in long‐term auditing of service contractors.
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