Are women better for development?


Published 09.01.19
Photo credit:
Direct Relief: Lisa Field-Elliot

Money in the hands of mothers increases expenditure on children. Does this human capital investment promote economic growth in developing countries?

Women tend to spend more on their children than men do. In this video, Michèle Tertilt discusses the implications of this for development. As women tend to earn lower wages, and therefore have a lower opportunity cost of time, they specialise in goods that are time-intensive, including childrearing, and spend more money on these. Men, on the other hand, spend more on money-intensive goods like agricultural inputs or investments. Targeting transfers at women can stimulate economic growth if human capital has high returns, but where physical capital is lacking, targeting transfers at men can lead to higher growth.