Closing the Global Gender Gap, PED-317Y/ECON-1376



Co-taught with Professor Rohini Pande
Understanding the role of gender in shaping the economic, political and social opportunities available to individuals can help us evaluate whether and how societies and organizations may close gender gaps in human capital investments, economic participation and political opportunity. It can also shed light on the substantial variation in the size of the gaps across countries and organizations, and inform the role of economic development and management and leadership in closing the gaps.

This course introduces an analytical and empirical framework for evaluating why gender gaps exist and designing policies to close gender gaps. Building on insights from Behavioral Decision Making and Development Economics, it provides a framework to diagnose when and why gender gaps emerge, analyze their consequences, and evaluate to what degree public policy and management can close these gaps.

The course will adopt a micro-perspective and critically evaluate how preferences, psychological biases, social norms and the level of economic development cause outcomes to vary by gender. Using program evaluation techniques, the course will train students on how to combine analytical frameworks and the judicious use of data to design and test specific interventions.

The goal of the course is to enable students to develop their own research and policy questions, examine them over the course of the year and share their insights with a larger audience in the spring. Students are welcome to use this course to further develop material useful for their PAEs, SYPAs or other research/policy papers. Students will receive 1 course credit for this course. 

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See also: HKS Courses