Discussion papers // Ibero America Institute for Economic Research 151
This paper examines to what extent gender gaps in education, health, employment, productive assets and inputs can affect pro poor growth (in the sense of increasing monetary incomes of the poor). After discussing serious methodological problems with examining gender issues in the context of an income-based pro-poor growth framework, the paper considers theory and evidence on the impact of gender inequality on pro poor growth. While there is a considerable literature suggesting negative impacts of gender gaps on growth, there is much less information on the impact of gender gaps on inequality. The paper then examines the experiences of country cases and finds that gender inequality can have a significant effect on pro-poor growth, but that the importance and type of effects differ considerably between different regions. It also appears that the effects of gender gaps on pro-poor growth operate primarily via an impact on growth rather than an impact on distributional change.