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Gender Equality and Economic Growth in the World Bank World Development Report 2006


  • Diane Elson


This contribution examines how gender equality features in the World Bank's World Development Report 2006: Equity and Development, focusing on its conceptual framework, use of empirical evidence, and policy recommendations. It concludes that despite acknowledging that liberalization and privatization have been captured by elites for their own benefit, the report still clings to a neoclassical understanding of how markets and competition work. Moreover, although the report emphasizes gender inequality in opportunities as a trap that hinders economic growth, it shows no understanding of economic growth as a gendered process in which old forms of gender inequality are weakened but new forms of gender inequality emerge.

Suggested Citation

  • Diane Elson, 2009. "Gender Equality and Economic Growth in the World Bank World Development Report 2006," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 35-59.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:15:y:2009:i:3:p:35-59
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700902964303

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Laura B. Rawlings, 2004. "A New Approach to Social Assistance: Latin America’s Experience with Conditional Cash Transfer Programs," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11813, The World Bank.
    2. Francois Bourguignon & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Nora Lustig, 2005. "The Microeconomics of Income Distribution Dynamics in East Asia and Latin America," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14844.
    3. Rawlings, Laura B., 2004. "A new approach to social assistance : Latin America's experience with conditional cash transfer programs," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 30165, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eva Fodor & Daniel Horn, 2015. "“Economic development” and gender equality: explaining variations in the gender poverty gap after socialism," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1519, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    2. Marilyn Power, 2013. "A social provisioning approach to gender and economic life," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research on Gender and Economic Life, chapter 1, pages 7-17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Bridget O'Laughlin & Kiran Asher & Bimbika Sijapati Basnett, 2016. "Forum 2016," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 47(4), pages 952-964, July.
    4. Shahra Razavi, 2012. "World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development— A Commentary," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 43(1), pages 423-437, January.

    More about this item


    Economic development; economic growth; equality; gender; World Bank; JEL Codes: B54; D63; O1;

    JEL classification:

    • B54 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Feminist Economics
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development


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