Women's Empowerment and Economic Development

Esther Duflo

NBER Working Paper No. 17702
Issued in December 2011
NBER Program(s):   CH

Women’s empowerment and economic development are closely related: in one direction, development alone can play a major role in driving down inequality between men and women; in the other direction, empowering women may benefit development. Does this imply that pushing just one of these two levers would set a virtuous circle in motion? This paper reviews the literature on both sides of the empowerment-development nexus, and argues that the inter-relationships are probably too weak to be self-sustaining, and that continuous policy commitment to equality for its own sake may be needed to bring about equality between men and women.

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This paper was revised on January 25, 2012

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17702

Published: “Women’s Empowerment and Economic Development”, Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. 50, No. 4: 1051-79, December 2012. (also see NBER Working Paper No. 17702, 2011; CEPR Discussion Paper 8734, BREAD Policy Paper 29, 2011). citation courtesy of

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