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Gender Inequality as a Barrier to Economic Growth: a Review of the Theoretical Literature

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  • Manuel Santos Silva
  • Stephan Klasen

Abstract

In this article, we survey the theoretical literature investigating the role of gender inequality in economic development. The vast majority of theories reviewed suggest that gender inequality is a barrier to development, particularly over the long run. Among the many plausible mechanisms through which inequality between men and women affects the aggregate economy, the role of women for fertility decisions and human capital investments is particularly important. Yet, we believe the body of theories could be expanded in several directions.

Suggested Citation

  • Manuel Santos Silva & Stephan Klasen, 2018. "Gender Inequality as a Barrier to Economic Growth: a Review of the Theoretical Literature," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 252, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  • Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:252
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender equality; Economic growth; Fertility; Human capital; Comparative development;

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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