The Impact of Gender Inequality in Education and Employment on Economic Growth in Developing Countries: Updates and Extensions

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IZA Seminar

Place: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 9, 53113 Bonn

Date: 25.03.2008, 12:15 - 13:30


Presentation by 

Stephan Klasen (University of Göttingen)


Using cross-country and panel regressions, we investigate to what extent gender gaps in education and employment reduce economic growth. Using most recent data and investigating a long time period (1960-2000), we update the results of previous studies on education gaps on growth and extend the analysis to employment gaps using panel data. We then calculate the magnitude of the effects by comparing actual growth in the Middle East and North Africa and South Asia with growth that would have taken place had they had the much smaller gender gaps in East Asia and the Pacific. Our point estimates suggest that the growth ‘costs’ of gender gaps in education, when considered alone, amount to about 0.7 percentage points per capita per year for Middle East and North Africa and 1 percentage points per yearfor South Asia. The combined ‘costs’ of education and employment gaps in Middle East and North Africa and South Asia amount respectively to 0.7-1.7 and -0.2-0.6 percentage point differences in growth, based on our preferred specification. Gender gaps in employment appear to have a larger and increasing effect on economic growth than gender gaps in education although this result is sensitive to the exclusion of particular regions in the 1990s.

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