Norway’s First Male Minister for Gender Equality and Children’s Affairs

is a pretty great guy. He also makes a very interesting claim:

Norway did not invest in paternity leave schemes after it got prosperous. We are prosperous because we invested in gender equality and it is important that all nations see that equality is a prerequisite for development, not the other way round.

I’d love to have the facts to back this one up. Does anyone have the data?

Thanks, AG!

8 thoughts on “Norway’s First Male Minister for Gender Equality and Children’s Affairs

  1. oh norway. it’s so true and so important. things need to change for men so they can change for women.

  2. I’m no expert on development economics, but I hear that the Indian state of Kerala confirms this statement. As far as I know, it invested heavily in gender equality and since then has been way ahead of the Indian average on most development indices. Whether there’s a causal relationship is obviously hard to establish, but I believe that there’s a large literature on the case which argues that there is. (I wouldn’t know where to find that literature though!) I’d be interested in hearing more about this from from someone who knows more about it than me.

  3. Anonymous – I’ve heard that too. One of the things Kerala discovered was that by educating girls, they chose to get married later in life and have fewer children. Since Kerala has a very large population, and not so many resources, it’s worked out great for Kerala. Unfortunately, I don’t have any sources for this – I heard it on a David Attenborough programme about over population, which had an interview with a Keralan minister.

  4. In Norway’s case I think that discovering the North Sea oil reserves also played an important role in their prosperity, too, though I’m happy to believe that the prosperity that made possible was better handled by having a more egalitarian society.

  5. I’m sure oil played some part- but it makes intuitive sense that if roughly half the population is kept from attaining their full potential, then the population as a whole has some huge lost opportunity with respect to development. Also, it seems like it would be difficult to fully apply the principle of comparative advantage in a society laden with gender inequality because what if Mom is better at making money but her gendered expectation is to stay home and raise kids.

  6. […] Norway’s First Male Minister for Gender Equality and Children’s Affairs We are prosperous because we invested in gender equality and it is important that all nations see that equality is a prerequisite for development, not the other way round (tags: sddc soc-mktg) […]

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