Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Watch This Space

by Ken Houghton

The Yale Women's Center tomorrow (Thursday, 5 October) will be making available its study of educated women in the workforce. The study was mentioned in Inside Higher Ed:
Yale University’s Women’s Center released a survey last week finding that just 4.1 percent of Yale women plan to stop work entirely after having children, compared to 0.7 percent of men. A vast majority of women — 71.8 percent — reported they would take less than one year off work after their children were born.

It's still nearly a 6:1 ratio, but the absolute numbers are rather low.

I doubt I'm the only one who believes that the two forces that contributed most directly to American growth in the 20th century were the G.I. Bill and the assimilation of women into the workforce. (Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, and the Civil Rights movement, for instance, all provided the infrastructure without which those would not have had such a high "A" value, to reference Cobb-Douglas).

As Mark Thoma notes here (and see especially the follow-on comments from econgeek):
I've wondered how much of GDP growth in recent decades, or growth worldwide, is truly new economic activity and how much of it is simply the internalization of tasks that we didn't used to count because they were performed outside the formal marketplace.

The Economist (via Thoma) is less subtle: The future of the world economy lies increasingly in female hands

So, thinking back to this post, maybe the Greeks have the right idea, but are just missing the women who are providing the real value.
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