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A Key Global Challenge: Reducing Losses due to Gender Inequality

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  • Joyce P. Jacobsen

    (Department of Economics, Wesleyan University)

Abstract

This assessment considers the worldwide costs from 1900 to 2050 of continued gender inequality. The main cost is considered to be the inefficient underutilization of women in production. This can be measured in terms of their correspondingly lower earnings and expressed as a percentage of actual GDP per annum. This loss is estimated to lie in the range of 4 percent to 37 percent of world GDP per annum over this time period, depending on the year and the assumptions made. The losses due to gender inequality are declining as a percentage of GDP over this time period, but the absolute sizes of the losses are still quite substantial, since world GDP is growing so substantially over this period. This can be seen in part by comparing the losses in terms of 1900 GDP: In 2050, which has the lowest potential losses (4 percent) as a percentage of GDP based on the lower loss projections, the loss attributable to gender inequality comprises 328 to 1019 percent of total world GDP as of 1900, which is a range of $6 to $20 trillion in 1900 dollars, well over what world output was worth in 1900.

Suggested Citation

  • Joyce P. Jacobsen, 2011. "A Key Global Challenge: Reducing Losses due to Gender Inequality," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2011-006, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2011-006
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    File URL: http://repec.wesleyan.edu/pdf/jjacobsen/2011006_jacobsen.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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