Raise women’s wages if you want to raise GNP

I love William Pesek ( Bloombergs. I think he is brilliant even if I am “economic-theory challenged.” In his column in the Globe & Mail (8 Oct 2011 he explains how improving the pay of women could significantly improve our economic situation globally.

For example: “Australian women earn about 17 percent less than men. Narrowing this gender gap by just one percentage point could boost gross domestic product by A$4.4 billion according to the Committee for Economic Development.”  Unconscious or not, he suggests that bias costs billions annually and sexism is bad economics: “This sex gap undermines the quality of life of one-half of nations’ populations and poses significant risks to long- term growth and well-being of societies. For an economy to fully use only half of its labour force is to tie a limb behind its back. In this age of globalization and fast-rising competition, it’s a wonder leaders don’t address this senseless imbalance.

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