Good News, Bad News
By Arnold Kling
Ricardo Hausmann sees the silver lining.
According to the latest gender related statistics published in the 2007 World Development Indicators (WDI) by the World Bank, the gaps between the sexes are going through a major shift worldwide. In 2006, literacy ratios of young women between the ages of 15 and 25 were higher than young men’s in 54 out of 123 countries.
If we look at secondary school enrollment, in 2004 there were 84 out of 171 countries in which girls outnumbered boys. At college level, this is also true in 83 out of 141 reporting countries.
…So, it is not just in the US that the education gender gap has reversed. This signals coming changes in the role of women in the family, the economy and in marriage.
With every silver lining, there must be a cloud. I’m sure if Krugman were here, he would say that men had it much better back in 1947-73.
Seriously, the impact of gender equality on family inequality could be quite large. As I’ve suggested before, when a man with high earnings potential starts to look for a wife with high earnings potential instead of a wife who can cook and clean, you are going to see fewer inter-class marriages. That raises inequality. Then the kids of the two-yuppie parents are going to start out with a lot of advantages relative to the kids of average Joe and Jane, with genetic advantages being the hardest to compensate for. That means even more inequality with each generation.
Regardless of which political party is in power.