Gender Inequality and Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa and Arab Countries
University of North Florida
August 3, 2009
This paper uses panel data from African and Arab countries and Arellano-Bond estimations to empirically assess the impact on growth of two primary indicators that are associated with MDG 3; namely the ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary enrolment, and the ratio of 15-24 year-old literate females to males. Our findings indicate that gender inequalities in literacy have a statistically significant negative effect that is robust to changes in the specification. We show that higher gender inequality has an even stronger effect on income growth in Arab countries. In addition, in more open economies, gender inequality in literacy seems to have an additional effect, but this effect is positive; suggesting that trade-induced growth may be accompanied by greater inequalities. The results associated with the effects of gender inequality in primary and secondary enrolment are less robust.
Keywords: Growth, gender inequality, literacy, openness to trade, Arellano-Bond estimation
JEL Classification: D63, F43working papers series
Date posted: August 5, 2009
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