Educating Women in Developing Nations

From the Brookings Institute:

Education, especially for girls and women, is the most highly leveraged
investment now available for developing countries. Obama's top economic
adviser, Lawrence Summers, has found that "educating girls yields a
higher rate of return than any other investment available in the
developing world." Women's education is a key driver for the economic
growth of countries around the world. A 100 country study by the World
Bank found that every 1 percent increase in the level of women's
education generates .3 percent in additional economic growth. Educating
women increases their wages by as much as 20 percent for every
additional year of schooling. Women's education is a key driver for the
economic growth of countries around the world.

5 thoughts on “Educating Women in Developing Nations

  1. Apparently, one of the best ways to further education and development is to actually pay families to keep sending their children to school. (I think I saw that in William Easterley’s “The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good.”) This has obvious applications for educating girls.

    Like

  2. My guess is that there are limits to magic bullets: if you have one young woman who went through school and can be a plausible bookkeeper, she will get hired by one of the two businesses in town at a nice wage. If you have twenty educated young women, eighteen of them will be selling popsicles from coolers or off in Dhaka sewing shirts in a factory and two will be working as bookkeepers at somewhat less nice wages.
    The businesses need to be there.

    Like

  3. “If you have twenty educated young women, eighteen of them will be selling popsicles from coolers or off in Dhaka sewing shirts in a factory and two will be working as bookkeepers at somewhat less nice wages.”
    But if she doesn’t know basic arithmetic, she won’t even be asked to work at the popsicle stand.
    I suspect that the payoffs are biggest at the lower educational levels. If everybody wound up with a solid 8th grade education (fully literate, flawless at performing everyday calculations, etc.), it could really be transformational, especially if you threw in an extra or two like working knowledge of an international language like English or knowledge of basic auto or motorcycle maintenance.

    Like

  4. I don’t have the references for this, but I know there are many places in the developing world where college graduates are actually something of a menace, especially when they can’t find work and become involved in Islamic radicalism or when they go into civil service in countries with lots of bureaucracy and little actual economy.

    Like

  5. I’m a man and not in the third world, but basic 8th grade skills were what kept me in higher paying summer jobs through high school and college. The ability to add, remember and follow basic directions, and showing-up without a hang-over was worth about $3 over minimum wage where I was. (I.e. nearly double the minimum wage at the time.) Plus, if you’d been there for a summer so you had some actual skill, you could show-up hung-over.

    Like

Comments are closed.