The best clue to a nation’s growth potential4 August, 2016 at 17:46 | Posted in Economics | 5 Comments
The economic implications of gender discrimination are most serious. To deny women is to deprive a country of labor and talent, but — even worse — to undermine the drive to achievement of boys and men. One cannot rear young people in such wise that half of them think themselves superior by biology, without dulling ambition and devaluing accomplishment … To be sure, any society will have its achievers no matter what, if only because it has its own division of tasks and spoils. But it cannot compete with other societies that ask performance from the full pool of talent.
In general, the best clue to a nation’s growth and development potential is the status and role of women. This is the greatest handicap of Muslim Middle Eastern societies today, the flaw that most bars them from modernity.
Any economist who thinks that growth and development has little or nothing to do with cultural and religious imperatives ought to read Landes’ masterful survey of what makes some countries so rich and others so poor.