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Investing in all the people

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  • Summers, Lawrence H.

Abstract

Recent research has convinced the author that once all the benefits are recognized, investment in the education of girls may be the highest return of investment available in the developing world. The author stresses five major points: (1) higher death rates are symptomatic of the more general pattern of female deprivation in the developing world; (2) underinvestment in girls is an economic problem resulting from a vicious cycle caused by distorted incentives; (3) educated women choose to have fewer children and can provide more for those they do have; (4) the social benefits alone of increased female education are more than sufficient to cover its costs; and (5) priorities should be to reduce the cost of schooling for girls and make special efforts to accommodate parent's practical needs. Major initiatives to increase female education can transform society over time. If more girls had gone to school a generation ago, millions of infant deaths could have been averted each year, and tens of millions of families could have been healthier and happier.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 905.

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Date of creation: 31 May 1992
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:905

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Related research

Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Primary Education; Gender and Education; Adolescent Health; Agricultural Knowledge&Information Systems;

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  1. Ben-Porath, Yoram & Welch, Finis, 1976. "Do Sex Preferences Really Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 285-307, May.
  2. M. Ali Khan, 1992. "On Measuring the Social Opportunity Cost of Labour in the Presence of Tariffs and an Informal Sector," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 31(4), pages 535-564.
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