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Women's education and economic well-being

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  • M. Anne Hill
  • Elizabeth King

Abstract

Evidence across regions in the world reveals patterns in school enrollment ratios and literacy that are divided along gender lines. In the developing world, apart from most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, enrollment ratios of girls lag behind those for boys at all levels of education. Worldwide literacy rates for adult men far exceed those for women. While educational progress has been enjoyed by both sexes, these advances have failed to eradicate the gender gap. Education enhances labor market productivity and income growth for all, yet educating women has beneficial effects on social well-being not always measured by the market. Rising levels of education improve women's productivity in the home which in turn can increase family health, child survival, and the investment in children's human capital. The social benefits from women's education range from fostering economic growth to extending the average life expectancy in the population, to improving the functioning of political processes. This paper reviews recent empirical research that analyzes the benefits of women's education, describes the importance of women's education for country-level measures of economic development, and examines the implications of a gender gap in education for aggregate social well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Anne Hill & Elizabeth King, 1995. "Women's education and economic well-being," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 21-46.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:1:y:1995:i:2:p:21-46 DOI: 10.1080/714042230
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